Employees not taking full annual leave

More than half of the British workforce does not take the full amount of annual leave each year, research by reed.co.uk has shown.

The online jobs board found that 54% of British employees are not taking full advantage of their statutory leave entitlement.

Despite the majority of those surveyed saying that they believe breaks from work increase productivity, many do not end up taking advantage of their full legal quota. The average worker forgoes 3 days of leave each year, taking 22 days holiday out of their allocated 25 days leave.

The research identifies a strong work ethic among the UK workforce, with many putting in overtime and some even cancelling their holidays for work:

  • the surveyed employees worked an average of 70.5 hours overtime each year
  • 45% said they cancelled their holidays in order to work
  • 18% claimed they were too busy to organise holidays and book time off.

Respondents also said that holidays were useful for being more productive in the workplace, despite many not using their full leave quota. The survey found that 5 to 7 days leave is the optimum period for returning in a productive mindset.

17% said they look forward to getting back to work after a holiday; of these 37% want to get back into their normal routine and 31% want to catch up with colleagues.

Lynn Cahillane, communications manager at reed.co.uk, said:

"Our latest research is yet more evidence of how hard Britain works. The extent to which people are prepared to put in overtime or even cancel holiday to get the job done, is a positive reflection of our attitude to work and testament to how much we value our jobs.

"However, everyone needs to recharge so we would encourage everyone to try and take their full allocation of annual leave. Time off restores your energy and focus allowing you to be more productive and creative on your return to work."

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