A third of UK office workers are failing to take the holiday leave to which they are entitled, according to a new study from recruitment company Adecco.

The new research, released as millions of UK workers are packing up for their annual summer holiday, reveals that millions of workers are instead staying in the office.

The surprising research also found that a further 15% of people only take their full holiday entitlement because they are forced to by their employer.

The research also found:

  • Over a quarter (27%) of people have felt guilty about requesting holiday. Of this, half (50%) felt guilty because they felt they were leaving their colleagues in the lurch
  • A fifth (22%) of people have lied to their employer about what they are taking holiday for
  • A third (33%) of people experience added stress as a result of their colleagues taking holiday
  • Half (48%) of workers would cancel holiday for work commitments

According to Alex Fleming, Operations Director at Adecco:

UK workers seem to have adopted a range of bad habits associated with their holiday leave. It is important to remember that annual leave is a legal entitlement and people should be encouraged to use it. It seems employees are reluctant to take their holiday leave and this could be for a range of reasons, including fears over job security and leaving their colleagues with increased stress.”