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Just over half of UK Employees Surveyed Admit to Having Worked Through Their Holidays

By Fiona Burns
16 Aug 2011
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Croner warns bosses that stressed-out staff could lead to a rise in personal injury claims.

Research by YouGov for Crone reveals that 52% of the British employees who are not self-employed admit to having worked through their holidays. Nearly one in five (18%) make a regular habit of it.

The research also reveals a notable difference between age groups, with 14% of 18 to 24 year olds surveyed saying they always work during a holiday versus 3% of the 55+ age group 14% of East Midlanders in the survey admit to always working through their holidays, as opposed to 2% in the North West and 3% in Wales. Bosses may think that an email from an employee while on holiday demonstrates their commitment to the organisation. But working through holidays may reveal an underlying problem of over-work.

Croner's Senior Employment Consultant, Amy Paxton, says: "The whole point of holidays is to ensure that workers are entitled to a period of rest and relaxation. If they do not have this time it could cause or exacerbate stress issues. "Work-related stress is now recognised as a very serious occupational health issue. Poor management of the risks involved can be very costly to employers in a number of ways, including high levels of absenteeism, increased staff turnover, recruitment costs and insurance premiums, low staff morale and productivity, personal injury claims and enforcement action.

"The practice of working through periods of annual leave should be discouraged. If an employee is suggesting that they are working during their holidays because they feel they have no alternative, then an employer should consider what support can be given to reduce workload or address any staffing issues. "Furthermore the organisation's stress management policy should be reviewed as working during annual leave may be seen as an indicator that work-related stress is not being properly managed and is, ultimately, a failure of the employer's duty of care to their employees."

Notes to editors Note on the research

Figures from YouGov plc: Total sample size 2009 adults of which 1234 are working but not self-employed. Fieldwork was undertaken between 4 and 7 February 2011. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

About the Author

Fiona Burns

Fiona Burns has practical experience in Health & Safety and Risk Management having worked for major insurer prior to joining Croner.

She has gained extensive helpline experience offering competent advice and timely support to large number of clients, in various industries and at all levels.  Completed the NEBOSH General Certificate, also passed NEBOSH Environmental Diploma Unit A, (IOSH Managing Environmental responsibilities). NEBOSH Fire and Risk Management Certificate, FPA Advance Fire Training, NCRQ Diploma – Distinction currently completing IPD and volunteering for Community project in Atherstone also as a Dementia support worker with CWPT.

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Fiona Burns

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