woman sunbathing

The Glassdoor® Annual Leave Survey, conducted online by Harris Poll among over 2,000 Great British adults (aged 16+), uncovers the real story behind annual leave, including how much holiday time employees actually take and how much they admit working (and why) during their time off.

Proportion of Annual Leave that employees actually use

  • The average UK employee only uses three quarters (77%) of their annual leave entitlement every year
  • Only half (50%) of employees use ALL of their allocated annual leave
  • 44% of UK employees report doing some work while on holiday
  • Employees in Scotland (57%) are most likely to do some work on holiday, followed by London (51%) and the Southeast (50%)
  • Younger employees, aged 16-24, are least likely to use all their annual leave – just 12% say that they use their full holiday allowance

Annual Leave used to go for interviews

  • 9% of employees admit taking paid time off from work to interview for a new job
  • This rises to almost one in five (15%) for those employed in London

Working while on holiday

  • 44% of employees admit to doing some work while on holiday. This is as high as 51% for employees from London and as low as 25% for employees from Wales
  • Almost one in five (19%) employees who took annual leave in the past year said that they had a difficult time not thinking about work while they were off. This is highest among employees in London (27%)
  • Employees 25-34 years old (25%) find it most difficult not thinking about work while on leave compared to employees in other age groups
  • Eighteen per cent of employees who took paid time off said that a colleague has contacted them about a work-related matter, and 13% said that their boss contacted them about work

Reasons for working on holiday 

  • One in ten (11%) employees have worked while on leave because they were concerned that they may get behind in their work. This rises to 17% for employees in the Southeast.
  • 10% of employees worked because they wanted a pay rise and 9% because they felt that no one else at their company could do their work while they were out. Again, more employees in the Southeast (15%) than any other region admit working while on holiday, citing that no one else could do the work.
  • 8% of employees admit working because they feel completely dedicated to their company.