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Thousands of British workers are failing to use all their holiday entitlement as they feel too pressured at work to take time off.
New research from LV= travel insurance found that although the average worker now gets 25 days' annual leave each year, many fail to use all their allowance. One in five (20%) working Brits will not take their full holiday entitlement this year and will waste an average of seven days' holiday each. This amounts to British companies benefiting from an extra £540 per worker from holiday days not used.
The main reason given by those who do not take their full holiday entitlement is they say they struggle to fit in holidays around their work schedule. A quarter (24%) say their workload is too demanding for them to take a break, while a similar number (23%) say they cannot fit in annual leave days around their colleagues' holidays. Job security is a real concern for many, with one in seven (15%) saying they worry about being away from work in the current economic climate.
Yet even when Brits do holiday they are never far from work. A quarter (25%) of those currently employed admitting to working while they are away and almost a third (31%) say they spend time thinking about work on their holiday. In fact, most workers spend an average of three hours and 40 minutes either working or thinking about their job during their break.
It is clear that British workers find it hard to forget about work and relax on holiday. In fact, the research found that the average Brit needs three and half days to feel relaxed and unwind – almost half the length of the average holiday (7.4 days). Employers will not necessarily benefit from having staff who are unable to switch off from their work. Over a quarter (28%) of workers say they feel more productive after a holiday and psychologist Dr Glenn Wilson recommends people take regular breaks from work to improve their work output.