A new report from the TUC[i] this week has highlighted that many companies are failing to give staff paid holiday leave, putting them at risk of ‘burnout’.
According to the report, one in 12 workers in the UK – around 2.2 million people get less than the legal minimum holiday requirement of five and a half weeks a year. 1.2 million workers receive no annual leave at all.
According to the report, these workers are losing out on nearly £3billion worth of paid leave a year, and those working in agriculture (14.9%), mining and quarrying (14.7%) and accommodation and food (13.9%) are some of the most likely to be affected.
In retail people are missing out on the most holiday in total, with 348,000 people estimated to be working without the leave they are entitled to. Education (342,000) and health and social care workers (291,000) are also industries with large numbers of people losing out.
In the UK most workers who work a five-day week are legally entitled to 28 days’ paid leave per year. An employer can include bank holidays as part of that statutory leave entitlement.
According to the TUC, workers missed out on holiday either because they were set unrealistic workloads that could not be completed on time, or because employers were deliberately denying holiday requests and “managing out” people’s leave.
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady has highlighted there are consequences when employees do not get the time off they need. “We’re now in peak holiday season,” she said.
“But while many workers are away enjoying time off with friends and family, millions are missing out. And that puts them at risk of burnout.
“Employers have no excuse for robbing staff of their well-earned leave. UK workers put in billions of hours of unpaid overtime as it is. The government must toughen up enforcement to stop bosses cheating staff out of their leave.”
Adrian Lewis, Director, Activ Absence says,
“Everyone needs a break and employers have a duty of care to ensure people take the holidays they are entitled to. We have all seen the rising stress levels at work and increased incidences of mental health in the workplace in recent years and not taking leave will directly impact people’s health and wellbeing. In the long run it will affect the organisations productivity.”
“One solution is for organisations to have good technology in place to manage staff leave centrally and transparently, enabling managers, the HR team to check their staffs holiday entitlements, see who is taking time off and when holidays can be taken with minimal business disruption.”
Adrian offers the following tips to help companies stay on top of staff leave:
- Managers across the business should reinforce the holiday policy and encourage people to take their full entitlement.
- Sending regular emails reminding staff to book their holidays as early as possible could prompt people into taking time off more regularly throughout the year.
- Have an efficient technology system in place for managing leave. Cloud-based absence management software allows managers to see in an instant who is off when, helping to avoid clashes and plan work schedules around staff holidays.