Small business owners are working long hoursAs the recession rumbles in, more businesses may be keen to prompt their workforces into working longer hours, but could HR departments find that this impacts on their efforts to boost productivity?

Recent research by Abbey and Alliance & Leicester Business Banking has revealed that small business owners are particularly keen to put in extra hours and the recession rumbles on, with many now working an average of 47 hours a week.

Furthermore, one in six business owners are now putting in 65 hours a week at their place of work.

This is well over the 48 hours set out at the maximum number of working hours permitted by the European Working Time Directive.

The financial services provider claims that many such employers may be working such hours simply to keep their company afloat.

Paula Ickinger, head of business banking marketing at Abbey and Alliance & Leicester, said: “The recession is having a huge impact on small businesses in this country and many owners are sacrificing their work-life balance by working longer hours as they struggle for the survival of their business.”

Recent research by Enterprising Voices has revealed that many small businesses would like to see maternity leave subsidies increased in order to cover “hidden costs”, which could help them out during the recession.