No holiday this year? Survey says you're not alone

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No holiday this year? Survey says you're not alone

A new survey of vacation time taken by Australians suggests many small business owners find it hard to take holidays.

Xero, which ran the survey, spoke to 515 people who own or manage their own small businesses in October, and 55 percent said they find it difficult to take time off during the Christmas holiday period.

A 57 percent majority said it had been more than a year since their last holiday, and 23 percent hadn't taken time off for two or more years.

It seems to be a particular problem for one-person businesses - 37 percent of respondents said they couldn't take holidays because they are the sole employee of the business.

Other reasons commonly given were that the respondent was the decision maker (42 percent), just too busy (25 percent), or that they couldn't relax not knowing what's going on in the business.

Things business owners do to make it easier to take time off include hiring staff that they trust to run the business in their absence, doing extra work ahead of the break, sticking with the traditional summer shutdown, or using technology to work remotely.

That last one doesn't sound like time off to us, but if you limited it to reassuring yourself that things are ticking over in your absence then it's probably better than no holiday at all.

"We already knew that small business owners are hard workers, but the fact that almost a quarter haven't taken a holiday in over two years is quite concerning," said Chris Ridd, Xero Australia's managing director. 

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