Business and Operations
Small business owners clock ‘8-day workweek’ to make up for labour shortages
April 24, 2023 By Bakers Journal
Toronto – The average small business owner works 54 hours a week, the equivalent of an eight-day workweek for most salaried workers, finds a new report by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. Eighty-four per cent of affected hospitality owners are working more hours, the highest of all industries.
Those who say they work more hours because of labour shortages clock in even more, about 59 hours a week, 20 of which are spent compensating for staffing challenges. That means they spend 34 per cent of their 59-hour workweek making up for lack of employees.
“This is a lot of time that business owners could spend on other priorities such as growing their business or looking into government programs,” said Laure-Anna Bomal, CFIB economist and co-author of the report. “But the impacts can also be felt outside of work. Many owners who work more hours don’t have time for family and friends, and it can affect their mental health and well-being.”
According to CFIB’s research, all provinces report that more than half of businesses are impacted by labour shortages, with Quebec, Saskatchewan and Manitoba being the most affected by staffing challenges.
Almost three-quarters of businesses experiencing labour shortages reported the owners had to work more hours and more than half reported their employees had to work more hours to make up for being short-staffed. Nearly half of affected businesses also had to turn down sales and contracts or decrease their service offerings.
The share of affected owners working more hours is highest in the hospitality sector (84 per cent).
“With Canada’s aging population, the shortages will get worse if our labour market approach does not change,” said François Vincent, CFIB’s vice-president. “There isn’t one-size-fits-all solution, but governments can help by implementing targeted measures such as reducing the tax burden that will allow them to invest in employee’s compensation, training, and automation. Additionally, streamlining immigration processes is key to finding the talent that small businesses can’t find right now. Finally, red tape reduction is a strategic way for governments to act to give back time to our entrepreneurs.”
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