The Council of Small Business of Australia (COSBOA) has expressed concern about the health of small business owners Australia-wide following a recent survey by Telstra Business that found more than half will be spending the holidays doing work.
COSBOA’s executive director Peter Strong said he feared business owners were suffering under the stress of red tape and difficult business conditions. “People who run their own business have been asked to do more and more unpaid work for the state and federal governments,” he said.
“They still have to deal with contract law that protects unethical behaviour from big business and they are trying to cope with changing market behaviour, uncertainty about the economy, and confusing regulations associated with workplace relations and local regulations. No wonder they feel the need to stay at work.”
The Telstra Business research revealed that taking an interrupted holiday or no break has become the norm with 26 percent of respondents indicating they worked through Christmas/New Year last year.
“It is worth noting that it was only this year that the health of the self-employed received recognition in government workplace health programs and the Human Rights Commission still struggles to identify an employer as a person,” Strong added.
“We will work hard in 2012 to get red tape removed and have the self-employed given the same rights as other people in society. The self-employed also need a good work/life balance: we need more time with our families and less time doing the work of others.”