And finally… Construction workers take less annual leave than anyone else

holidayA new piece of research has found that those working in the construction industry take less holidays from work than those employed in other sectors.

A study by holiday provider Sunshine revealed the majority of those who do not use the most of their annual leave do so because they feel “too busy” to take time off.

Employees in hair & beauty roles take full advantage of their allocated holiday allowance and more, according to the study.

The survey was carried out as part of ongoing research into the holiday habits of Britons, this time delving into different employment sectors to discover how these habits differ between those in various industries. 3,172 people aged 18 and over from around the UK, all of whom were in full time employment and entitled to 28 days paid annual leave as standard. An equal number of respondents from 30 different sectors took part to produce an unbiased set of results.

All respondents were asked how much of their holiday allowance they actually used in their last full working year. According to the results, the top five sectors in which workers take the least amount of their holiday allowance on average are as follows:

  1. Construction - 4 days
  2. Healthcare - 5 days
  3. Retail - 7 days
  4. Media & Journalism - 8 days
  5. Marketing - 10 days

According to the results, 34 per cent of respondents finished their last working year without having used all of their allocated annual leave allowance. The majority of these, 57 per cent, said they lost all of the annual leave that they did not use as a result of not taking it (i.e. were unable to transfer any to the following year or have the option to be paid for the days instead).

The survey results also revealed the sectors in which employees were likely to take full advantage of their annual leave, and more, revealing the following top five:

  1. Hair & Beauty - 35 days
  2. Travel/Tourism - 32 days
  3. Recruitment - 30 days
  4. Hospitality - 29.5 days
  5. Sales - 28.5 days

Those who stated that they had taken more than their allocated 28 days of annual leave were asked how they had come to have even more time off, to which 57 per cent of the relevant respondents said that they had ‘accrued more for time off in lieu’ and 23 per cent said they had simply ‘requested and been granted more holiday’, either paid or unpaid.

Anyone who did not take all of their allocated annual leave during their last full working year was asked why they had not done so, to which 86 per cent said they felt ‘too busy’ to be able to do so. Only 4 per cent said that they didn’t take all of their holiday because they ‘didn’t want to/didn’t feel it was needed’.

Chris Clarkson, managing director of Sunshine, said: “I can’t see why anyone with an allocated, paid holiday allowance would not take it all over the course of the year. It’s understandable that work gets busy from time to time, but that’s all the more reason to take some time off… not a reason to just sacrifice your annual leave.

“This is actually a really worrying trend, particularly because people working in construction and healthcare can’t afford to make mistakes in their jobs due to the nature of their roles and the environments they work in. Not taking time away from work can lead to tiredness and, in turn, errors.”