A third of Europe's workers are failing to take their annual leave, with more than a fifth of the UK's employees not taking all their holidays.
More than 1,000 Britons were surveyed as part of a Europe-wide poll by online recruiter Monster.
Asked 'Do you always take your full quota of holidays?', British workers replied:
- 7 per cent (75 people) No - the company can't survive without me
- 17 per cent (173 people) I try but I'm too busy
- 23 per cent (246 people) Yes - even if I roll them over
- 53 per cent (557 people) Yes - I make the most of my entitlement
The survey also reveals:
- Italians find it hardest to maximise their annual leave - with almost half of respondents (46 per cent) claiming not to take all their holiday due to being too busy or feeling that their companies would collapse without them.
- Swedes also have a hard time taking their full quota of annual leave, with 43 per cent not managing to do so.
- Interestingly, Germany has the highest percentage of respondents claiming to roll their days over to the following year (62 per cent).
Clinical psychologist Dr Sarah Agnew, believes that people do not use their holiday entitlement because they live in fear of job cuts and feel threatened.
"I see more and more 'high powered' professionals suffering from mental illness who say they feel guilty about taking time off," he said. "They maximise their contribution and many believe that their self worth is exclusively contingent on salary and status. With such beliefs, statements such as 'they can't survive without me' are intuitively obvious, but maybe 'I can't survive without them' is more accurate.
"Unless people address erroneous perceptions about the part that their current position plays in their identity and self-worth we can expect to see a rise in stress-related illnesses such as depression and anxiety," he added.