This is the top reason Brits miss out on annual leave

top reason Brits miss annual leave
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Millions of Brits suffer from a fear of annual leave because they have too much work to do, or feel their boss wouldn’t approve it.

A poll of 2,000 office workers found that out of the average 28-day entitlement, 28 per cent of staff leave five days a year unclaimed.

One in 10 adults say they don’t have anyone they can hand work over to, so end up staying to do it themselves.

And the same figure describe taking a holiday as ‘pointless’ because they’d only end up working through it anyway.

Chris Logan, managing director at Crystal Ski Holidays, which commissioned the research in conjunction with the launch of new short break ski holidays, said: “Not every employer is happy to sign off holiday requests.

MORE:Expert reveals how travel will be affected by Brexit plans in 2020

“And not all staff feel comfortable booking leave, fearing they won’t be able to switch off from work anyway.

“The findings suggest more than three million office workers aren’t using all the leave they are entitled to, which means huge numbers of adults who are probably stressed, over-worked and over-tired by the end of the year”.

The study also found the average worker isn’t comfortable booking any more than eight days holiday in one go - with one fifth preferring to book four days or less.

And one quarter of employers claim to feel happier using annual leave for shorter breaks.

top reason Brits miss annual leave

The majority of those polled do manage to enjoy their time off when they take it, but just under one in 20 can’t enjoy a holiday because of work stress.

This is because they spend the whole time thinking about work (30 per cent), feeling guilty about being off (17 per cent) or check their emails anyway (18 per cent).

A third are hesitant to request annual leave because they worry what their boss will think, and the same amount believe a holiday isn’t worth the stress of compiling a mega-handover.

Miss out on all of your annual leave last year?

Here are the top 10 reasons Brits didn’t take all their annual leave in 2019

  1. I had too much work to do
  2. It wasn’t worth the hassle of coming back to a mountain of work
  3. I couldn’t afford to go on holiday
  4. I had no one I could hand my work too
  5. I worry too much about what will happen while I’m away
  6. It was pointless as I’d only have worked on my annual leave anyway
  7. I had no one to go away with / spend it with
  8. I didn’t think the boss would approve
  9. I love work and don’t desire time off
  10. I didn’t feel I could abandon my clients / customers
Aleesha Badkar
Aleesha Badkar

Aleesha is digital shopping writer at woman&home - so whether you're looking for beauty, fashion, health or home buys, she knows all the best places to splash your cash. She earned an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London in 2017 after graduating from University of Leeds in 2014 with a BA in English and Spanish (which took her to Madrid for a fun Rioja and tapas-packed year). Aleesha has worked for woman&home since 2019, when she joined the team as their digital news writer. A year on the news team gained her quick and reactive writing skills and a love for breaking stories, invaluable insight into where to get the best lifestyle releases first, an AOP awards nomination and the nickname ‘crazy watch lady’ after she became so obsessed with the royals that she followed breaking news alerts on her Apple Watch.


Before joining the woman&home team, Aleesha wrote for their sister site GoodtoKnow, where she covered celebrity news, health advice and where to snap up the cheapest lifestyle buys. With a background in beauty, Aleesha has also written for Stylist and Women’s Health where she developed an understanding into what makes a stellar product and which brands are worth paying attention to. She never leaves the house without a slick of lip balm and a good slathering of SPF, cannot live without an eyelash curler by her side and is always on the hunt for new lipsticks to add to her ‘Lipstick of the Day’ Instagram story highlight (and color-coordinated collection).

But it’s not just beauty buys Aleesha can help you with. Social media savviness, strong PR relationships and a need to stay in the know mean she’s all about the latest fashions, clever gadgets and reliable lifestyle buys too. She loves indulging in an interior craze (with a bedroom drowned in prints, plants and pink), is a regular visitor to the Missoma and Edge of Ember 'New In' pages and can’t resist the allure of a kitchen gadget—just ask her three coffee machines.

When she’s not playing around with new products and testing anything she can get her hands on, Aleesha spends most of her time with her head in a current bestseller, catching up on the latest Netflix craze with her sister, trying out new recipes, drinking wine with her bestie and (in non-COVID times) has been known to be a bit of a jetsetter amongst her friendship group. Oh and she makes the most of her Disney+ subscription by watching the Marvel films on repeat (definitely not just for Chris Evans...).

Follow her latest shopping & lifestyle advice, beauty insights and social antics on Instagram at @aleeshabadkar.


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Email: aleesha.badkar@futurenet.com