British Workers Too Busy to Take Holiday

blog-publish-date

10 Jun 2015

blog-read-duration

A third (33%) of British workers said they did not take all of their annual leave allowance last year because their workload was too heavy to take the day(s) off. While 13% said they felt they couldn’t take the day(s) off and 4% were worried what their work would think if they took off the day(s).

These findings are uncovered in a major new YouGov survey of British workers’ attitudes to holiday and absence commissioned by the business information services company, Wolters Kluwer in the UK. The right to paid holiday comes from the EU Working Time Directive. In the UK this amounts to 28 days (including bank holidays). The purpose of the Directive is to protect people’s health and safety as excessive working time is a major cause of stress, depression and illness.

Mike Allen, Managing Director at Wolters Kluwer’s UK HR solutions division, Croner, says: “This is a real cause for concern for employers and demonstrates that many UK workers feel, for a variety of reasons that they can’t take time off. However, the problem with not taking time off is that it leads to absence through sickness which is why the Working Time Directive was introduced in the first place.” Indeed, the UK’s trepidation about holiday may be causing more sickness-related absenteeism, or a rise in that age-old employer bugbear: the ‘sickie’.

The survey found that short-term absence is a continuing problem for UK businesses, with 49% of workers saying they had taken genuine sickness absence in the last year and 5% admitting pulling a ‘sickie’. Startlingly, 16% of younger workers (aged 18-24) admitted to pretending they were sick to take time off work, which could be linked to younger workers coming straight out of education where they are afforded more leniencies.

“Managing short-term absence such as holidays and sickness is a real challenge for UK business. Organisations need to focus on interventions and management of short term absence and holidays to ensure that employees have a healthy work/life balance. Bosses should ensure that employees feel able to take annual leave without the fear of what they may return to,” adds Allen.

Free to Download Employer Resources

  • Bribery Risk Assessment Form

    FREE DOWNLOAD

    Bribery Risk Assessment Form

    Read more
  • The Good Work Plan 2020

    FREE DOWNLOAD

    The Good Work Plan 2020

    Read more
  • Expert View - Non-Compliant Contract

    FREE DOWNLOAD

    Expert View - Non-Compliant Contract

    Read more
  • BLOG

    Case Law Update: Gray v Mulberry Comp...

    The Court of Appeal has upheld earlier decisions that an employee’s belief in th...

    Read more
  • BLOG

    Mythbuster – Political Burnout Won’t ...

    The UK is getting ready for its third general election in four years. Hanging ov...

    Read more
  • BLOG

    Working Time Regulations

    Read more
  • REC

    CASE STUDY

    REC

    The events are brilliant. Amanda Chadwick, one of the expert speakers, is a very

    Read more
  • Grantley Hall

    CASE STUDY

    Grantley Hall

    Whenever we have a sensitive issue - sometimes involving individuals with protec

    Read more
  • Lady Heyes Holiday Park

    CASE STUDY

    Lady Heyes Holiday Park

    Overall it's definitely had a noticeable impact on the business and how I perfor

    Read more

Do you have any questions?

Get a free callback from one of our regional experts today