According to a study by Association of Convenience Stores(ACS), local shopkeepers are among the hardest working people in Britain, with most of them work for 50 hours a week.

As per the ACS study, 60% of the nation’s convenience store retailers work more than 50 hours in an average week, while just 7% work fewer than 30 hours a week.

More than half of them claim to take less than 10 days off a year while one in five take no holiday at all, open even on public holidays like Christmas.

The hours worked by self-employed retailers are also far greater than those stipulated as legal maximum working week hours and the minimum holidays required under the Working Time Directive.

According to Office of National Statistics figures for the last quarter, the average working week of most other professions is between 30 and 40 hours a week.

Besides shopingkeepers, people working in agriculture, forestry and fishing work the most hours on average (45) while those in accommodation and food services work the fewest (28).

ACS chief executive James Lowman said the stores they are talking about are their members’ livelihoods.

"Some of our members are in store at four or five in the morning to receive the day’s newspapers and are still there late at night closing up every day of the week," Lowman added.

"We know that 89% of local shops play an active role in the community, on top of spending every day engaging with customers behind the counter."