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A fifth of employees would ‘sell' back holiday

Employees would forgo annual leave for a higher salary, despite not enjoying a good work/life balance

A fifth (20%) of employees would ‘sell' back some of their holiday entitlement if allowed, a survey by gocompare.com has found.

On average these workers would be prepared to forgo seven days of their annual leave in return for a higher salary.

This was despite most respondents (68%) citing time over money as more important to them. A large proportion (76%) of those surveyed said that they don't have time to do all the things they want to do. Of these people, 22% reported having to work long hours to afford to live, while a quarter said that looking after their home and family left them with little time to do much else.

“It is rather sad that we are beginning to see the Americanisation of the UK workforce when 20% of UK staff would sell back some of their holiday entitlement, which is common in the US,” Cary Cooper, professor of organizational psychology and health at Manchester Business School, told HR magazine regarding these findings.

“We all need breaks away from work to recuperate from the pressures and overload, and to spend time with the family.”

Of the employees who wouldn’t ‘sell’ their holiday, 20% would take a pay cut to buy an average of 11 days more holiday, and 60% would keep their holiday/pay arrangements the same. Just over a fifth (21%) of those wanting more holiday said they would like to ‘buy' 16 or more days' additional leave.

The survey also asked self-employed workers about their holiday time. It found that 35% felt they had less time off being self-employed than when they were employed, 26% would like to take more time off but couldn't afford to do so, and only 21% give themselves as much time as they like.

To read more on the topic of work/life balance and working day pressures, download HR magazine’s free Reclaim Your Time ebook.