UK executives save country £3.5bn a year by failing to take holidays

Desk-bound UK executives are saving the UK economy £3.5bn a year by failing to take holidays, according to research published today by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

The survey also revealed a ‘swap shop’ mentality, with many executives wanting to trade annual leave for other benefits.

The CMI questioned 553 managers and found a majority (63%) were not using their full holiday allowance. Almost half (48%) were losing up to two weeks holiday each year because they failed to book time off.

The study estimates that nearly 19 million holiday days are not taken each year – a cost benefit to UK plc of £3.5bn.

The pull of the desk over the departure lounge is blamed by a third on heavy workload. A quarter  of respondents were concerned that deadlines would not be met if they stopped working while on holiday and 17% suggested that they found it hard to ‘let go’ of their responsibilities.

Respondents were asked if they would like to swap their annual leave entitlement for other benefits. About 17% were already able to exchange days off for cash and 29% expressed a desire for the option to ‘sell’ holiday time.

Jo Causon, director of marketing and corporate affairs at the CMI, said: “Individuals clearly see the benefits of a break from work, but still appear unwilling to have a proper rest. In the short term this may seem like a good idea, but the idea of ‘all work and no play’ is not a recipe for long-term success.”


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