Employers in the UK are becoming more flexible when it comes to allowing staff to take extended periods of time off, according to one expert.

Vanessa Robinson, a research adviser with the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), stated that enabling workers to take gap years for travelling can be of benefit to employers as well as employees since it provides them with more experience.

She commented: "It does seem to be an increasing trend and … employers seem to be responding quite well by offering slightly more flexible reward packages to reflect that this is something people need."

Ms Robinson went on to say that taking time off to engage in something like volunteering "could potentially have mutual benefits for the employer too".

The results of a new survey conducted by the Year Out Group suggest that volunteering is now the top choice for a gap year or a career gap placement.