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Annual leave entitlement is a greater source of dissatisfaction for men than it is for women

David Woods , 26 Jul 2010

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Men are far less satisfied than women with the amount of annual leave they get from work, with private-sectors workers more dissatisfied than their public-sector counterparts.

The findings, which form part of IFF Research’s Attitudes to Work study, highlight disparate views among workers on this employee benefit.  

Although men and women placed equal importance on the amount of holiday they get – 48% of both sexes believe it is ‘very important’ as part of their overall benefits package – only 44% of men are ‘very satisfied’ with their holiday entitlement, compared with 63% of women.  

And the gap between the public and private sectors is also significant. More than two-thirds – 68% – of public-sector employees are ‘very satisfied’ with how much holiday they have compared with 42% in the private sector.

Jan Shury, joint managing director at IFF Research, said:  "Whether we love our jobs or not, we all love to take a holiday. But a lot of us want more. What accounts for the differences in our findings?  

"Some public-sector jobs, such as teaching, have generous holiday entitlements and this may be one reason for the disparity between the private and public sectors.  But this cannot tell the whole story as the study covered a wide range of public-sector roles.

"On the gender divide, women tend to occupy more part-time positions than men; as part-time workers spend a greater amount of time away from work they appear to be more comfortable with the amount of holiday they have. Indeed, our findings showed that 66% of part-time workers are very satisfied with their holiday allowance against 48% of full-time employees.

"What’s clear is that, of all the benefits we get at work, the amount of holiday is seen as one of the most important. In this era of wage restraint and cutbacks, employers looking to reward their staff could choose to extend holiday allowances, although they will of course need to be mindful that once holiday entitlement has been increased it is very difficult to reverse."

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