Almost one quarter (23%) of the UK workforce did not use all of their paid holiday allowance in 2013, according to new research.
The findings from Canada Life Group Insurance found that although this figure is down slightly from 2012 (25%), questions remain over attitudes towards work/life balance in the UK workforce.
Their previous research highlighted the continued problem of presenteeism in the UK workforce, as 93% of employees go into work when ill. The findings also show this aversion to taking time off extends to paid annual leave, with only 77% of workers taking their full holiday entitlement last year.
Paul Avis, Marketing Director of Canada Life Group, comments: “These findings are the latest in a long line that suggest the UK workforce is under increased pressure from their employers to always be present at work.
“Whether for sickness or holiday, employees are still feeling that they are unable to take the leave that they are entitled to. Despite a marginal improvement on last year, it is clear that employers need to do more to counter beliefs among employees that they can’t take time off.”
Of those who didn’t take their full allowance, almost two fifths (37%) compensated for this by carrying some of their holiday allowance forwards into 2014. This is down significantly from 2013 when almost half (49%) carried their remaining days over, suggesting many employees are simply throwing away their annual holiday entitlement.
Avis continues: “Failure to encourage a healthier work/life balance among employees will have a detrimental effect, not only for the individual who will feel increasingly worn-out and stressed, but also for the wider market. Taking sufficient time off to rest and rejuvenate is critical to driving productivity across the labour market.”