A staggering 69 percent of workers do not take all their annual leave, according to data by RotaCloud.
Across all industries, the average person gets a leave allowance of 32 days (31.8) but only takes 27 (26.6).
This leaves a full week of time off (5.2 days) left unused each year.
The nation’s hospitality workers take the least amount of their holiday entitlement, according to the research.
The study of 7,000 employees found that restaurant, bar and pub staff take on average, just 16.
Men tend to get a higher leave allowance than women, on average. (32 days for men compared to 31 for women), but they generally take less, on average 26 days, compared to women’s 28.
Why do workers not take more time away from work?
A separate study of 2,000 workers, also commissioned by RotaCloud, found having too much work to do was cited as the main reason why a fifth don’t take all their entitlement (18%).
This was followed by having nobody to hand work over to and having a mountain of work to come back to (both 16%).
Stressing too much about what would happen while they were away was a reason given by 14 percent of people,
Also, sadly more than one in 10 (11%) claimed it was pointless taking holiday as they would have to work all the time anyway.
Why is it important to take time off?
Pam Hinds, head of HR at RotaCloud, comments on annual leave: “58 percent of people think that the amount of holiday days on offer is one of the most, or the sole most, important factor when deciding to take a job — yet we’re still not taking all of the annual leave we’re entitled to.
“Not only are you owed it by your employer, but taking regular breaks from work is vital, for both your physical, and mental health — so it’s really important to take your entire annual leave entitlement, no matter how busy it is at work.
“As employers, we should be encouraging annual leave use to its fullest and actively ensuring that people feel able to, and comfortable, taking time off. Hopefully our annual leave tool helps to highlight that we could all do with a bit more of a break.
Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at the University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.