Work pressures leave little time for holidays


Work pressures leave little time for holidays

One in three men are just too busy to take up all their holiday entitlement, according to a new survey by employee benefit specialists Youatwork.

The survey into the provision and take-up of holiday entitlement reveals that nearly a third of men (31%) and one in six women (16%) feel that they are simply too busy to take all their holiday entitlement. Youatwork estimates that these missed holidays mean that nearly £4 billion worth of work goes unpaid across the country each year. "UK employees fail to take over three months of holiday over the course of their working lives," the survey says.

Flexibility in provision

Holiday entitlement has traditionally been viewed as a core benefit with which to recruit and retain the best staff, but employees are increasingly looking for benefits that are more suited to their lifestyles:

  • Nearly three in ten workers (28%) surveyed would prefer to trade in some of their holiday for other benefits such as car allowance or gym membership.
  • Exactly half of workers would like the option of being able to buy or sell some days of holiday in exchange for other benefits.
  • Only one in eight workers (12%) are currently able to trade in some of their holiday entitlement for other company benefits.

Gerry Callaghan, managing director of Youatwork, said: "Clearly, many people are not able to take all of their holiday entitlement and are looking for greater flexibility from their employers. The best businesses are already switched on to this and are using innovative reward strategies to attract and retain the people they need in the war for talent."

Want to know more?

Research was carried out in February 2003 amongst 1,000 employees throughout the UK by the Survey Shop.

Youatwork is the online employee benefits service from Royal & SunAlliance.  It offers a "cost-effective range of human resources solutions to employers of all sizes".  These include an employee discounts scheme, benefit management, eHR and interactive flexible benefit systems which are available either individually or grouped together.

For more details email: or visit

Posted 9 June 2003