Workers Not Taking Summer Break


New research has shown that 23% of UK workers aren’t going to take a summer holiday this year, despite persistant claims that Britain is an overworked nation with a poor work-life balance.

Those who are taking a break during the summer months are very likely to have booked their time off well in advance. A minority of 3% are intending to ask for time off, but might have left it too late for bosses to say yes.

This situation may place businesses in a difficult situation. Staff failing to take their holiday entitlement is potentially placing their organisation at risk as overworking themselves into the ground could lead to much more serious health problems and, ironically, enforced time off.

A similar survey conducted last winter showed that a third of UK workers fail to take their full entitlement and of these, 7% will lose their holiday altogether, not being able to claim either payment or rollover days into the following year. It was estimated that over £14.5 billion worth of holidays were going unclaimed.

In order to ensure that your employees take their annual holiday entitlement, you should set out an annual leave policy following the guidelines below:


  • Outline employees’ annual leave entitlement, which should be at least the statutory minimum of four weeks’ paid leave, as stipulated in the 2000 Working Time Directive;
  • Outline the dates your organisation’s holiday year runs to and from;
  • State that employees should take the leave they are entitled to, outlining the responsibility of managers in ensuring workload demands do not prevent leave from being taken.
  • Cleary state your company’s policy on whether it will allow employees to carry holiday over to the next year or pay for leave not taken.
  • Outline the process for requesting and approval of annual leave;
  • Detail any circumstances in which annual leave may be withdrawn.


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