40% of British workers take just half of their annual leave

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The holiday season is looming, but a new report by Glassdoor has revealed that two in five will take just half of their leave entitlement, and many will take their laptops along with them.

The survey of 2,000 employees found that the average employee takes just 62 per cent of their allowance. Of those that did use their allowance, 23 per cent regularly checked emails, and 15 per cent continued working through fear of getting behind and the consequences of not hitting their targets.

Of employees who received paid holiday, 43 per cent took between 91-100 per cent of their allowance in the last full holiday year, while 13 per cent reported taking just 20 per cent or less of their eligible time off. A combined total of 40 per cent took up to half their annual leave allowance across the year. When broken down by age groups, young workers were the least likely to take their full allowance, with only 35 per cent of 18-24 year olds and 40 per cent of 25-34 year olds taking between 91-100 per cent of their allowance in their last full holiday year.

“Employees need to have candid conversations with their managers about how they can achieve a better work-life balance and book their remaining time now to avoid burn out further down the line”, said John Lamphiere, Glassdoor’s Managing Director, EMEA.

“The fact that 40 per cent of us take a maximum of just half our holiday allowance and a significant amount feel they need to work while being away is not a good long-term solution and will only result in employees who may want to jump ship for greener pastures. Take a day to plan out your holidays, create a schedule which works for you and your employer, then stick to it. If you don’t do it now, it may never happen.”

Glassdoor suggest that if you are planning your summer holiday, you should aim to completely disconnect, and offers some quick advice for how to achieve a work-free holiday:

  • Book your holiday with your manager as soon as possible. Once your request is approved, tell you team and make it clear that you will be unreachable.
  • Be proactive before your holiday by discussing a back-up plan with your manager. Be prepared with several ideas about who can do what responsibilities while you are away.
  • Craft a helpful ‘Out of Office’ reply. Make sure that those who email you while you’re on holiday have resources and access to someone else on your team who can help in your absence.
  • Ensure your back-up person is primed for success. Plan adequate time for your back-up to spend time with you at your desk and with your manager.
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    Jade Burke

    Jade Burke, Editor for PA Life

    All stories by: Jade Burke