Most UK workers feel their employer has stopped them taking extended leave or sabbaticals

More than six out of 10 UK workers claim their employer has tried to prevent them from taking a sabbatical, while nearly one-third of employees have quit their job to go travelling, research has found.

An online survey conducted by pollster YouGov on behalf of Direct Line Travel Insurance, which interviewed 2,407 people, found that 26% of respondents worked for a company where sabbaticals are a staff perk. 

Almost one-quarter (24%) said they would be more likely to work for a firm that offered sabbaticals, while one in three said they would be more likely to remain with an organisation long-term if offered a career break.

Moreover, up to 40% of staff working in government, public sector, finance and insurance industries are able to take long leave, followed by IT and telecoms with 36%, and medicine/health service at 25%.

The national average stands at 26%, with construction and retail at the bottom of the list with 22% and 14% respectively, according to Direct Line.

Almost half of respondents cited travelling as the chief reasons for taking extended leave, while 30% wanted a break from the rat race. Almost one-quarter (23%) claimed to be suffering from burn-out, the survey finds.

Chris Price, business manager at Direct Line Travel Insurance, said: “Taking an extended break from work used to be the preserve of a privileged few, but now more and more people are taking time out from their careers to travel.”

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