Infographic: Millions Lose a Quarter of Entitled Annual Leave

New research reveals that 4.5 million people are losing more than six days of annual leave each year, due to reasons including being worried about losing their job or looking bad in front of their boss.


The study, conducted by Hilton Hotels and Resorts showed that one in 20 even admitted they take just half of the time off they are entitled to, saying that using every day of their annual leave is frowned upon in their workplace.

The survey of 2,000 professionals, conducted by OnePoll in November 2013, found that, while the average Brit is entitled to 23 days of leave each year, 40 per cent rarely, or never, use their full allocation. Additional reasons for this lack of annual leave use include running out of time to use it, worrying about judgement from colleagues, juggling busy workloads and difficulties fitting around other workers’ holidays.

Fear and Worry

Fears about showing lack of commitment to the job, being made redundant or colleagues taking credit for their work were also cited as explanations for not taking leave.

Three in 10 surveyed admitted to spending a large chunk of their holiday worrying about their job and what their co-workers were saying about them, while 25 per cent have even called into the office whilst on annual leave to check for updates and ensure that everything is well in the workplace.

“With a lot of businesses stretched to capacity, it’s worrying to see that many individuals are not taking all of the time off to which they’re entitled,” explained behavioural psychologist, Jo Hemmings.

“Britain’s workforce should be encouraged to take regular time out to recharge their batteries. Taking a break from work and enjoying a holiday helps workers both mentally and physically, which really improves their productivity when they go back to work.”

“Holidays are absolutely essential to our emotional well being, providing time away from everyday pressures and deadlines. Quality time spent with friends and family, rest and relaxation and a change of environment all contribute to positive health and happiness. Even if employees only take a few days off at a time, having that break from the office can really make a difference.”

Top 10 Reasons

According to the survey, the top 10 reasons for not using one’s full annual leave allocation are:

  1. Ran out of time to use it
  2. Too busy to take it all
  3. Didn’t want to take that much time off work
  4. Too difficult to fit leave around other colleague’s workloads/meeting schedule
  5. No reason to take time off
  6. Too difficult to fit leave around other colleague’s time off
  7. Worried about losing their job
  8. Didn’t feel like they should take it all
  9. Frowned upon in the workplace
  10. Worried about not looking committed to the job

Hilton’s Solution

To encourage Britain’s workforce to utilise their annual leave to maximum effect, Hilton is inviting stressed employees to visit the Hilton Urgent Vacation Care Centre:, where visitors take a diagnostic quiz.

Also, to help raise awareness of “Vacationitis” and bring to light the newfound statistics, Hilton Hotels & Resorts ambassadors will be positioned at five train stations across London – Kings Cross, Victoria, Liverpool Street, Waterloo and Watford Junction – gifting branded oyster card holders and encouraging workers to visit the Hilton Urgent Vacation Care Center website to take the quiz to be entered for a chance to win a two-night stay at any Hilton Hotels & Resorts property.


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