Blog

23 May 2014

Only half of UK workers take all their annual leave

A recent survey conducted on behalf of Glassdoor has revealed that only half of UK employees use up all of their annual leave.

A recent survey conducted on behalf of Glassdoor has revealed that only half of UK employees use up all of their annual leave.

The poll, which questioned more than 2,000 staff found that the average worker loses 6 days of their holiday entitlement each year. This means that employers are benefiting to the tune of around £18billion each year as their staff work an extra week for free.

The survey also found:

  • only 12% of employees aged 16-24 say they use all their annual leave
  • 44% state that they continue to work while they’re on leave
  • 18% say they’re contacted by colleagues while on holiday and 13% are contacted by their boss

How much leave should you offer?

The minimum entitlement for UK workers is 28 calendar days. This can, but doesn’t have to include our 8 public holidays, so the actual number of days someone is allocated varies between companies. Part-time workers and those who work non-standard hours are entitled to the same amount, on a pro-rata basis.

Many companies incentivise by offering extra days to staff who have worked for them for a certain number of years. And most staff would say that they see annual leave as an important part of their benefits package. So if this is the case, why aren’t they taking the full amount?

Reasons staff don’t take leave

It seems as though many people (11%) work while on leave so that they don’t come back to a mountain of work, but:

  • 10% say they do it because they want a pay rise
  • 9% feel only they can do the work
  • 8% work extra because they’re so dedicated to the company they work for

Joe Wiggins from Glassdoor said: “It’s clear the phrase annual leave among employers and employees doesn’t mean what it did in the past. Before technology allowed us to be connected 24/7, we were more likely to have actually ‘left’ our work for a few weeks a year, but now, it appears taking a full holiday allowance is a luxury.”

Why you should encourage annual leave

While it may sound beneficial for staff to work extra days if you’re an employer, you really should encourage them to take all the leave they’re entitled to – and this applies to you as the business owner too.

Having time off can help to reduce stress and improve sleep patterns. It also recharges the batteries, so you and your staff come back to work more productive and with increased enthusiasm. 

D2 Interactive