Wow! UK employees use just 77% of their annual leave each year to take a break. The Harris Poll survey also found that only half of workers use up all of their holiday entitlement. (Research commissioned by Glassdoor.)
Undoubtedly, technology had a big impact upon the nature of annual leave. More than two-fifths of employees admit to working while they are on leave.
‘Burn out’ is a very real risk affecting business as well as employees. These research snippets show how this is happening:
· Younger employees, aged 16-24, are least likely to use all their annual leave. Just 12 per cent agreeing that they use their full holiday allowance
· 25% of 25-34 years olds also reported that it was difficult not to think about work while on leave, (the overall average was 20%).
· 18% reported that a colleague has contacted them about a work-related matter while they were away.
· 13% said that their boss contacted them about work during a break.
But why is this happening? Some interesting statistics emerged from the research:
- 11% feel they have to work on holiday for fear of falling behind and facing a bigger workload upon their return
- 10% staff said they worked while away from the office because they wanted a pay rise
- 9% said they felt that no one else at their company could do their work
Joe Wiggins, senior jobs community manager at Glassdoor UK, said: “While there is always work to be done, employees should be conscious of using time off they’ve earned to recharge. In turn, employers should consider being more clear to everyone about what it means to be on holiday, actually let others be on leave, and go beyond just encouraging employees to use time off. Some real rest and relaxation will help employees return to work energised, ready to contribute and make them less susceptible to ‘burn out.”
Matthew Pinto-Chilcott of Consensus HR adds: “Business owners need to manage their teams’ holidays. It’s part of employers’ duty of care to ensure that everybody takes the holiday owed. This can also avoid two issues that are far larger problems than managing holidays: payment for accrued holidays when employees leave, plus employee ‘burn out’. Both have a detrimental affect upon the business and are easily avoided through proper procedures.”