The Most and Least Commonly Used Entrepreneur Perks

Husband And Wife Coffee Shop Owners Laughing Together

Full-time employees in the UK are entitled to a minimum of 28 days paid statutory leave a year, which should include bank holidays where applicable. However, a recent study revealed that annual leave taken across the UK dropped by 8% from 2022 to 2023. Which got us thinking – how does this apply to entrepreneurs?

To find out, we carried out our own survey asking small business owners about perks such as holiday allowance, flexible working, sick pay and more. We’ve revealed which benefits are the most and least commonly used among entrepreneurs, and the reasons why they may not be able to take advantage of certain benefits.

Finally, Fay Sumner, Head of People, from Capital on Tap has shared advice on why it’s important for business owners to take statutory allowances such as those granted to employees, for the sake of mental and physical well-being.

The most commonly used entrepreneur perks 

Most people who start their own business are at least partially motivated by the benefits of becoming an entrepreneur, like being your own boss and choosing when to work. But to what extent do small business owners actually get to enjoy these perks?



% of small business owners who have this perk


Statutory holiday (28 days of paid leave including bank holidays) or better



Flexibility to adjust working hours as needed



Full flexibility to remote work when desired



Ability to reinvest profits back into the business



Ability to work from any location


1. Statutory holiday allowance or better

The ability to take time off ranks as the most commonly used perk among small business owners, with a significant 61% reporting they can take the statutory holiday allowance (28 days including bank holidays) or even more time off. However, this does mean that 39% of small business owners take less than the statutory allowance – with 21% listing money worries as the main reason for this.

Business owners working in travel and transport benefit the most from holiday allowance, with a remarkable 100% reporting exceeding the statutory minimum. This may reflect the seasonal nature of the industry and the potential for downtime during slower periods.

On the other hand, the financial services sector is worse off, with only a third (33%) of owners able to take standard allowance or better. The demanding nature of finance, with potentially fewer opportunities to step away, could explain this disparity.

2. Flexibility to adjust working hours as needed

For many, the ability to choose when to work and when to switch off and relax is the ultimate goal. And for 58% of small business owners, that goal has become a reality – making flexible working hours the second most common benefit used among entrepreneurs. 

Interestingly, small business owners aged 18 to 24 are the least likely to enjoy this perk, with only 27% saying they have the flexibility to adjust their working hours as needed (versus 69% of those aged 35 to 44). However, 73% of business owners in this age bracket reported expecting to have this perk before starting their business – so there’s a big disparity between how much flexibility they thought they would have, and how much they actually have. 

We also found that business owners in the entertainment and events industry are most likely to enjoy this perk (82%), while those in real estate are least likely (25%). This may be due to those in real estate typically dealing with more fixed showings and appointments that can’t be moved, while those in the entertainment industry work with less rigid schedules.

3. Full flexibility to remote work when desired

The benefits of remote work are widely recognised, with 78% of people reporting it improved their work-life balance. Our survey found that 51% of small business owners currently have the flexibility to work from home rather than an office when they want to, allowing them to take advantage of all the benefits this offers. 

Although they were the age group least likely to enjoy flexible working hours, 18 to 24-year-olds were more likely than other ages to report having the flexibility to remote work when desired (64%) – despite only 36% of them expecting to have this perk before they set up their business. 

4. Ability to reinvest profits back into the business

Reinvesting profits back into the business is a great way to ensure growth. It’s also the third most common perk enjoyed by entrepreneurs, with half (50%) saying they are able to do this.

Business owners in agriculture and farming were the most likely to be able to reinvest profits back into their business (83%), while those in entertainment and events are least likely to be able to do this (36%).

5. Ability to work from any location

Similar to flexibility over working from home, 48% of small business owners also reported being able to work from any location as a benefit. 

78% of arts and crafts business owners said they are able to work from anywhere, whereas just 14% of those in hospitality are able to enjoy this perk. This makes sense, as hospitality businesses are usually tied to a certain location – for example, they own and run a Bed and Breakfast. 

Meanwhile, arts and crafts businesses, who craft handmade goods for example, are more likely to be able to base their operations from anywhere in the world.

The least commonly used entrepreneur perks – and why 

While the freedom and flexibility of being your own boss are very appealing, certain benefits can be harder to implement as a small business owner. We’ve explored some of the least commonly used perks among entrepreneurs, as well as the reasons why they might struggle to take advantage of them.



% of small business owners who have this perk


Standard wage structure (an hourly rate of a fixed wage)



Standard maternity leave (39 weeks off at 90% of earnings) or better



Statutory sick pay (£109.40 per week for up to 28 weeks) or better


= 4

Standard paternity leave (two weeks off at 90% of average weekly earnings) or better


= 4

Higher than expected wages



Hybrid working model (e.g. remote work two days per week)


1. Standard wage structure (an hourly rate of a fixed wage)

Only 20% of small business owners reported having a standard wage structure, making it the least commonly used perk among entrepreneurs. This suggests that the flexibility to adjust income based on business performance, rather than a set wage, is more common for most entrepreneurs.

In terms of industry, real estate stands out with the highest percentage (38%) of business owners enjoying a standard wage structure, while travel and transport is on the other end of the spectrum with zero business owners reporting this benefit. This could be because many travel and transport businesses, like taxi services, might rely on freelancers or commission-based structures.

2. Standard maternity leave or better

All employees in the UK are eligible for standard maternity leave, which allows for 39 weeks off at 90% of earnings. However, the situation is a little different for self-employed people who own a business. 

Our survey revealed that despite being a standard benefit for regular employees, standard (or better than standard) maternity leave is the second least commonly used perk among small business owners, with just 23% being able to take this.

The most common reason for not being able to take standard maternity leave is a lack of finances, with 21% of women saying there isn't enough money within their business to use this perk. A further 17% said they prioritise business growth over their personal life. 

3. Statutory sick pay or better

Statutory sick pay is another benefit enjoyed by most employees in the UK, which entitles them to £109.40 per week for up to 28 weeks when unable to work due to sickness. However, this is harder to guarantee as a small business owner. 

We found that fewer than a third (30%) of entrepreneurs are able to benefit from statutory sick pay, or better. We also noted a gender gap: 35% of men reported being able to pay themselves statutory sick pay or better, compared to only 21% of women. 

Money worries are once again the main cause, with 21% of people saying their business doesn’t make enough money for them to take statutory sick pay. A third (33%) of women gave this reason, compared to only 14% of men – who were more likely to say they’re worried about being away from the business for too long in case they’re needed (17%). 

As for industry, entrepreneurs working in arts and crafts saw the lowest percentage able to benefit from sick pay (4%), with 39% saying they don’t make enough money for this. 

4. Standard paternity leave or better

While standard paternity leave in the UK offers employees two weeks off at 90% of their earnings, many small business owners miss out on this benefit. Only 32% reported taking standard paternity leave or exceeding paternity leave allowances.

However, unlike maternity leave, finances aren't the main hurdle for business owners. The top reason given by 17% of male business owners is prioritising business growth over their personal lives. This highlights a pressure many small business owners face: balancing their family lives with the critical growth period of their ventures.

Additionally, one in 10 male business owners (11%) said they did not take better paternity leave than the standard offering because they don't want to give themselves better perks than they offer employees. This demonstrates a commitment to fair treatment within their companies.

5. Higher-than-expected wages

Just under a third (32%) of business owners report higher-than-expected wages. This suggests that for most business owners, income aligns more closely with, or potentially falls below, market expectations.

The personal care industry stands out, with an impressive 67% of business owners reporting higher-than-expected wages. This is significantly higher than any other sector. Conversely, zero hospitality business owners reported this benefit, indicating their compensation likely meets or falls short of expectations.

Why you should take statutory allowances as a business owner

Running a small business requires a lot of hard work and dedication. Our report on the habits of small business owners highlighted a concerning trend: many business owners are neglecting their own well-being, with over a third (34%) admitting their mental health has taken a hit due to the demands of their company. 

And with our new research revealing many entrepreneurs have to forego statutory benefits such as standard sick pay and maternity leave, it’s clear that small business ownership can come at a significant personal cost.

Fay at Capital on Tap comments on the importance of taking statutory allowances as a business owner:

“Statutory allowances, like sick pay and parental leave, exist for a reason: to provide a safety net and encourage breaks that can ultimately benefit your business. Think of it as an investment in yourself and your long-term success. By using these allowances, you'll be recharging your batteries and returning with renewed focus.

“According to our survey, the most common reason for entrepreneurs not taking statutory allowances is concerns about money. There are various things you can do to better manage your business finances to allow for statutory benefits and peace of mind.

“For example, using a separate business credit card can be a big help with managing finances. Clear separation between business and personal expenses allows you to stay organised and feel more confident when taking time off, knowing your personal finances are protected.”


Capital on Tap surveyed 250 small business owners over the age of 18 in the UK. The survey was conducted in April 2024. 

Back Share
Apply now