Too busy for a break: Working Brits pass up on £650 of paid holiday each year

Hard working Brits are working through much of their annual holiday entitlement, losing out on over £650 and 10 days annual leave each year.

Nearly nine out of ten British workers failed to take all of their holiday allowance last year, with almost one in 201 missing out on more than ten days of paid leave. In some cases, that meant workers missing out on as much as £675 of annual leave, according to a survey undertaken by money-saving site

The study, which looked at British workers’ annual leave entitlement, also found that 43% of us don’t take our full allowance because we are simply too busy to do so and that over half2 are entitled to more that 25 days of paid holiday per working year, with 7% reaching the end of the year with at least half their allowance untaken.

More than a third of us3 were unable to carry over our remaining holiday days to the following year or sell it back to our employers meaning that 35% of Brits had to simply lose their annual leave, losing out on an average of £674.60* a year.

The top reason Brits gave for not taking their full holiday entitlement was that almost half4 of us felt that our work place was too busy and therefore felt they couldn’t book any time off whilst one in ten said that they had holiday requests denied by their bosses.

A whopping 81% of us admitted to working up to nine hours’ unpaid overtime each week, effectively missing out on a further £434.40 in unpaid labour.

18% of Brits still have more than half their holiday allowance left for 2016 despite the fact that we are half way through the year.

Shane Forster, UK Country Manager stated: “We’ve seen a pattern where people are feeling too busy or guilty to take time off from work and are not only missing out on rest but potentially hundreds of pounds in lost holiday entitlement and through unpaid overtime.

With time off work so important and Brits missing out on so much paid leave, it’s important that holiday doesn’t cost any more than it needs to. There are some great offers around for restaurants and leisure activities ensuring that Brits can make sure that their precious holiday time is as enjoyable as it is good value.”

Get great deals on your well earned breaks abroad with STA Travel, Expedia and Thomas Cook.


Survey of 1,000 respondents, June 2016
1 4.8% of respondents surveyed missed out on more than 10 days’ annual leave.
2 56% of respondents surveyed answered that they had more than 25 days’ annual holiday entitlement.
3 35% of respondents surveyed answered ‘lose it’ when asked the question, “With your remaining holiday, what did you do?”
4 43% of respondents surveyed answered ‘they felt they were too busy to book of holiday’ when asked the question, “Why didn’t you take your remaining holiday time?”

*Calculated through average UK salary 2016 (£26,422 gross / £21,134.16 net)