Jobs: More than half lose out in battle for holiday dates

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WORKERS are at loggerheads over prime holiday dates as more than half (54 per cent) say they cannot get the time off they want because colleagues have got there first.

A survey of more than 500 people either in work looking for a new role or job seekers found competition for time off and stress at work means many are missing out on hard-earned holiday time.

The survey by recruitment firm Hays found more than a third (39 per cent) saying they don’t usually take their full annual holiday entitlement.

More than half of those who don’t usually use their full allowance (53 per cent) have been left with more than five days of unused annual leave at the end of the year. This amounts to UK workers missing out on over a staggering 200 days of holiday allowance over their working lifetime.

Mark Staniland, of Hays, said: “In a competitive and challenging jobs market employees may feel they have to be seen to be present in the office to show their value and commitment.

“However, we all need a break from work to come back with our batteries fully recharged. Our survey shows that nearly four in ten (39 per cent) jobseekers said they found it stressful handing over work before taking holiday and catching up with work when they returned, with 12 per cent confessing they didn’t take holiday due to the stress. This goes some way to explaining the left over annual leave days.

“Employers should encourage and support their employees’ annual leave requests where possible to ensure a happy, healthy and more productive workforce. Both employers and employees need to find a balance between hard work in the office and being able to take their well deserved holidays, or risk the stress and strain of long hours taking it’s toll on morale and productivity.”