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UK employees not using their full holiday allowance

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A significant number of UK employees did not use all of their paid holiday allowance last year

One in five (22%) UK employees did not use all their paid holiday allowance in 2014, according to research by Canada Life Group Insurance.

Around one in seven (15%) respondents blamed staffing issues, one in 20 (5%) said their organisation actually discouraged workers from taking time off, and nearly a sixth (16%) failed to plan effectively and so ran out of time.

The report also found that 89% of employees had gone into work at least once while ill.

More than a third (36%) said that companies prioritise profits over their wellbeing, while only 9% stated that health and wellbeing was the top concern at their organisation.

The areas most staff believe are prioritised above wellbeing are:

  • Cost efficiency (36%)
  • Employee output in relation to business profits (26%)
  • Investing in better equipment (13%)
  • Employee training and development programmes (12%)

Paul Avis, marketing director of Canada Group Life Insurance, said that organisations are still failing to provide the work/life balance employees want. “Retention of trained staff is a key concern for employers, and failing to promote an ethos of wellbeing will have a negative impact on staff turnover in the long term,” he said. “Individuals that don’t have adequate time off are likely to feel stressed and burnt-out, resulting in a direct hit to productivity."

“Employers need to communicate that they won’t penalise staff for taking the leave entitled to them but also that support is available when they are genuinely in need of help, whether that be with work/life balance, stress, or anxiety and depression,” he added.