Startling New research has shown that over three quarters of Freelance Business owners have experienced mental health issues as a direct result of non payment in the last twelve months.
The latest market research report compiled by Hitachi Capital UK is entitled Late Payments: The Cost to Business and Our health.
The report shows that Freelancers and SME owners are now spending an average of 77 minutes every day chasing unpaid invoices due from clients. It also highlights that most do not know what preventative measures are available to them and the options when payments are not made.
Over a third of the Small Business owners were not aware that interest can be applied to overdue business payment and only a small amount were aware of what Small Business debt collection action can be taken.
Two thirds of Small Business owners that contributed to the survey stated they had experienced at least one occasion where their services had not been paid for within the agreed payment period.
Previous research by Hitachi showed that late payments are costing SME’s in the UK an average of £10,000 per year. Additionally, a massive 40% of Small Business Owners have also had to use savings keep cash flow moving as a result of non payment.
Chief Executive of Mental Health First Aid England is Simon Blake. He said “Being self-employed or working in an SME can present a number of challenges to our health and wellbeing – including the pressure of managing a consistent cashflow. The link between late payments and mental health issues is a worrying trend and requires quick action to ensure that people are not left to suffer in silence.
“This is one of the many reasons why we are working towards a future where people in every type of community have the training and resources to support their own and others’ mental health. People from all walks of life – whether working as freelancers, in SMEs or in larger businesses – should be empowered to seek and offer support if they are struggling with their mental health.”
It has been a cause of the media and figures such as Martin Lewis to highlight the mental effects of debt on consumers in the UK. Yet little is done to highlight the mental effects and stress than not being paid can cause.
Chris Spencer of Business Debt Recovery specialists Federal Management said “Every day we receive calls from desperate small business owners who are under massive duress. The impact of non payment to small business operators can be catastrophic and we feel that this needs to be highlighted.”