New survey finds Brits just won’t stop working!

Brits just won’t stop working; a whopping 163 million annual leave days went to waste in 2016!

  • Survey reveals UK workers waste on average five days of annual leave each year
  • We’re spending less than half our holiday allowance on relaxing
  • One in six of us had more than a full working week of holiday leftover in 2016

Thanks to us Brits being workaholics, it’s been revealed that in 2016, UK workers grafted an extra £17 billion of free work as we didn’t take the holiday we’re entitled to.

A new study, commissioned by the sun-loving holiday specialists Airtours, has found that Brits aren’t using their well-earned holiday to do the things they love; in fact, we’re wasting them! The average UK worker didn’t take a whopping five days of their annual holiday allowance the last year; it’s no wonder we all need a dose of sunshine!

To make up for all those wasted days last year, Airtours are giving holidaymakers £100 off their next holiday with code: BRITS100. To find out more go to

The data found that 40% of workers were guilty of not using up their full holiday allowances, and one in six of us admitted to having more than a full working week of holiday leftover.

So why aren’t we taking the holiday we’re entitled too? Well, 25% of people asked said they didn’t need to take it or even want to, 36% had too much on at work to take time off, and 26% weren’t allowed to take holiday as it meant being off at the same time as colleagues.

When we did take a break last year, our research suggests that most of the time we weren’t using our holiday how we should have been, like chilling out and recharging our batteries, in fact, we spent less than half of our time off relaxing.

On average we spent seven holiday days at home doing, well not much at all it seems, and  56% of us admitted to doing boring chores instead of getting out and enjoying ourselves (where’s the fun in that?).

A further 32% of Brits used their holiday to go to medical appointments and 17% used it to deal with those unexpected family emergencies, like illness or injury or taking the dog to the vet.

Stewart Davies, Commercial Manager at Airtours, added:

“We can’t believe that so many hard working Brits are missing out on their annual leave; it’s one of the best bits of the year! With work pressures and hectic daily routines, we all know how much they deserve a break from it all. So with 2017 in full swing now, and a whole new year of holiday days to take, we’re getting behind our fellow Brits and encouraging them to take some well-earned time off. And, if they choose to enjoy some time chilling out on a beach in the sun, well, who could blame them?”

While it seems like a good thing for employers, absence management specialist Adrian Lewis from Activ Absence believes that employers need to do more to support their employees to take all of the leave they are entitled to, and also that doing so is good for business.  He says:

“The working time regulations exist for a reason – and that’s because to be productive, employees need to take holiday from work.  Recent studies show that countries offering the most paid staff holiday and the shortest working week are also the most productive. 


“Our software allows employers to use trigger points to remind staff when they have lots of annual leave left to take.  Taking regular staff holiday not only keeps people refreshed and productive, it also avoids a build up of annual leave which almost always results in a mad rush and being short staffed at the end of the leave year.” 


Top 10 things Brits spend annual leave on (that aren’t holiday):

  1. Chores and Errands
  2. Going to medical appointments
  3. Using up annual leave allowance
  4. Family emergencies
  5. Relaxing at home
  6. DIY/ Home improvements
  7. Gardening
  8. Shopping
  9. Studying
  10. Socialising

Author: Editorial Team

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