This research shows that our small businesses, which represent 51% of the UK GDP*, can be proud of their staff and safe in the knowledge they will be supportive and inventive when times are tough
Almost half agree to altered hours or pay freeze to help fight recession
28 September, 2010: While unionised staff from some of the UK’s largest organisations disrupt vital services by striking in protest at wage freezes and reduced hours, small business employees have, in stark contrast, been rolling up their sleeves and getting stuck in.
Research by Make It Cheaper, the business price comparison service, reveals that 45% of staff in small businesses have accepted a pay freeze, agreed to less hours or even worked more hours for no extra money, in an effort to help their business combat the recession.
A sign of British resilience in difficult times, just 21% of bosses put their affability down to fear of losing their job, with more than half those surveyed (54%) instead attributing their workers’ acceptance of changing circumstances to their dedication to the business.
Other key findings from the survey include:
• The outlook for the coming financial year is generally positive with more than half believing things will stabilise (57%) and almost a fifth (18%) believing things will be at their brightest in five years
• The vast majority have not had to make redundancies in the past year (78%) and just 12% foresee having to do so
• The most successful financial cutbacks, aside from a reduction in staff, have involved energy saving strategies, with 21% of respondents saying they have made big savings
The research also uncovered a whole range of proactive and creative coping strategies SME staff have suggested including: writing to their MP to protest against the imminent VAT rise; using online voucher codes for work-related purchases; increasing internet presence; making suggestions about diversifying the business offer and building local relations to increase business.
Jonathan Elliott, managing director, Make It Cheaper, said: “This research shows that our small businesses, which represent 51% of the UK GDP*, can be proud of their staff and safe in the knowledge they will be supportive and inventive when times are tough. Companies are becoming leaner and so will be more profitable as and when things improve. Perhaps employees should take this opportunity to map out a future pay rise when milestones are reached”.
The research was conducted with Make It Cheaper’s customer base with 1000 businesses surveyed. Make It Cheaper receives 2,000 utility price comparison enquiries each week and helps 50,000 businesses a year to switch.
* Federation of Small Business (2009)
About Make It Cheaper
Established in 2007 and based in Central London, Make It Cheaper receives more utility price comparison enquiries (2,000 a week) and arranges more new contracts (1,000 a week) than any other business-only price comparison service. These enquiries include those from the business customers of most of the major domestic price comparison services as well as business membership organisations, charities and trade associations. Acting on behalf of these customers with total impartiality and without charge, Make It Cheaper offers cost savings across a range of products including business electricity, business gas, insurance and telecoms. The prices it offers are often better than could be found by going direct to suppliers because of the volume of deals its negotiates.
Sarah Mayer / Sophie Coughlan
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