British SMEs work a 15 month year

24th March 2015

Research carried out for the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) has revealed that leaders of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with between 10 – 249 staff work the equivalent of an extra 3 months in a year based on a 40 hour working week. This equates to an extra 10 hours a week on average and can increase to 13.4 hours a week for leaders of larger SMEs with 100 to 249 employees.

According to the survey, conducted by Populus, much of this time is spent on back office tasks. SMEs spend over an hour a week handling insurance (73 minutes), taking longer than dealing with office supplies (37 minutes) and managing IT (62 minutes). From finding and setting up insurance to handling claims, British SMEs are losing out on valuable time that could be spent on business development, team building or investing in skills.

HR and marketing take up most time with SMEs spending on average 90 minutes a week on marketing and 77 minutes a week on HR related activities.

Commenting on the research Steve White, Chief Executive of BIBA said: “It is concerning to think that SMEs work an extra quarter a year, effectively doing a full year’s work by October. Much of this time is spent on tasks that have nothing to do with their core business goals. Insurance is the third most time consuming back office task, taking up more time than IT, SMEs could benefit from the support of an insurance broker to save them precious time to get on with growing their business.

“An insurance broker will have access to a wide choice of products, can give advice, represent businesses during claims and provide risk management advice relieving the burden on the SME.”

Customers looking for suitable insurance can use BIBA’s Find a Broker service either on 0870 950 1790 or at

Notes to editors

1. For further information please contact:

BIBA press office:
Leighann Forsyth, Head of Communications
020 7397 0223
[email protected]

Hanover Communications:

0207 400 4480

[email protected]


2. About British Insurance Brokers' Association

The British Insurance Brokers' Association (BIBA) is the UK's leading general insurance intermediary organisation representing the interests of insurance brokers, intermediaries and their customers.

BIBA membership includes just under 2,000 regulated firms having merged with the Institute of Insurance Brokers (IIB) in November 2011.

General insurance brokers contribute 1% of GDP to the UK economy and BIBA brokers employ more than 100,000 staff.

54% of all general insurance is sold by an insurance broker and they arrange 79% of all commercial insurance business.

Insurance brokers put the client’s interests first, providing advice, access to suitable insurance protection and risk management.

BIBA helps more than 400,000 people a year to access insurance protection through its Find a Broker service, both online and via the telephone.

BIBA is the voice of the industry advising members, the regulators, consumer bodies and other stakeholders on key insurance issues.   

3. Methodology

Populus interviewed 500 directors, senior managers and owners of British businesses with between 10 and 249 employees online between 5 and 8 February 2015.

Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. For more information see


4. Most time consuming back office tasks for SME leaders

  • Marketing or advertising: 90 minutes a week
  • HR: 77 minutes a week
  • Finding and buying insurance, and dealing with insurance claims: 73 minutes a week
  • Purchasing or maintaining IT software or hardware: 62 minutes a week
  • Processing or approving expense claims: 45 minutes a week
  • Procuring office supplies: 37 minutes a week