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90 per cent of workers forfeit £650 of paid annual leave each year

Over one-third of workers were unable to take unused leave into the new working year and were unable to exchange it for wages

Many Britons are so dedicated to their jobs that they are working through their annual holiday allowances and not benefiting from their leave in any way.

Many employees failed to take all the leave they were entitled to last year, according to a study carried out on behalf of Voucherbox.co.uk, a site for saving cash on offers. Out of every 10 workers, almost nine did not take all the holidays they were owed, losing out on up to £675 of paid leave. Around five per cent of employees were not enjoying 10 days of the paid holidays they had accrued.

The research examined the leave entitlements of UK workers and how much leave employees were actually taking. The results indicated that 43 per cent are not using all their paid leave because they are too busy to do so. More than half of the workforce is entitled to more than 25 days of paid annual leave for each working year; however, seven per cent of employees reach the end of a working year with half or even more of their holidays unused.

Over one-third of workers were unable to take unused leave into the new working year and were unable to exchange it for wages; as a result, they ultimately forfeited it. For around 35 per cent of working Britons, the average value of the leave they lost out on was £674.60.

When it came to reasons for not using their leave, 10 per cent of workers said that their requests for holidays had been denied by management. The most common reason for missing out on taking paid leave was that British employees felt overwhelmed by their workload and considered themselves far too busy to take all the holidays they were owed.

The study also revealed that more than 80 per cent of British employees worked up to nine hours of unpaid overtime each week. Over a year, this added up to more than £430 of unpaid labour.

An analyst from the organisation that commissioned the research said that it was a concern that so many people were not using the paid leave they had earned. Leave is important for rest and recharging the batteries and makes a significant contribution to the morale of employees and ensuring that they are engaged and productive at work. When looking at the bigger picture, all this missed leave is not benefiting the employees or the companies for which they work.

Ironically, it was noted that the amount of money employees were losing out on due to forfeited leave would probably cover a modest family holiday.

1,000 employees were questioned for the study, with the value of the lost leave based on the average UK wage for 2016 of £21,134.16 net (£26,422 gross).

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