Millions of workers are losing at least six days of their annual leave because they are too worried about losing their jobs or looking bad in front of their boss to take the time off, a study has revealed. Researchers found that fears about showing a lack of commitment to the job, being made redundant or colleagues taking credit for their work means four in ten workers – 4.5 million – rarely use all of their annual leave.
One in twenty even admitted they take just half of the time off they are entitled to, saying that using every day of their annual leave is frowned upon in their workplace.
The study, by Hilton Hotels & Resorts, found other reasons for not using their entire annual leave include running out of time to use it, having to juggle their busy workloads and difficulties fitting it in around other workers’ holidays.
Behavioural psychologist Jo Hemmings said:
”With a lot of businesses stretched to capacity, it’s worrying to see that many individuals are not taking all of the time off to which they’re entitled.
”Britain’s workforce should be encouraged to take regular time out to recharge their batteries.
”Taking a break from work and enjoying a holiday helps workers both mentally and physically, which really improves their productivity when they go back to work.
”Holidays are absolutely essential to our emotional well-being, providing time away from everyday pressures and deadlines.
”Quality time spent with friends and family, rest and relaxation and a change of environment all contribute to positive health and happiness.
”Even if employees only take a few days off at a time, having that break from the office can really make a difference.”
The study of 2,000 workers found that while the average Brit is entitled to 23 days of leave each year, 40% rarely, or even never, use their full allocation.
And 15% even have at least six days – more than one working week – outstanding most years.
A third of those who fail to use their entire annual leave put it down to simply running out of time to fit it all in, while 21% are too busy to take the time off.
14% worry they may lose their job, with one in ten even claiming that their boss frowns upon workers using the full amount of holiday each year.
One in five just don’t want to take that much time out of the office, with another 20% putting their unused annual leave down to struggles to fit it in around their colleagues workload and meeting schedule.
One in twenty even believes their boss may question their commitment to the job if they take all of their holiday allocation every year.
But even when they do go away, three in ten spend a large chunk of time on their break worrying about their job and what their boss or colleagues may be saying about them.
And a quarter will call into the office for updates and to check everything is going OK with the work they left behind.
TOP TEN REASONS FOR NOT TAKING HOLIDAY
1. I just run out of time to use it
2. I’m too busy to take it all
3. I don’t want to take that much time off work
4. It’s difficult to fit in around my other colleagues’ workloads/meeting schedule
5. I have no reason to take the time off work
6. It’s difficult to fit it all in around other colleagues’ annual leave
7. I worry I might lose my job
8. I feel like I shouldn’t take it all
9. It’s frowned upon in my workplace to take the full allocation
10. I worry it looks like I’m not committed to my job