Study Finds 1 In 5 Employees Are Being Discouraged From Taking Leave

The Annual Leave Allowances survey, from Just Eat for Business, has discovered that 1 in 5 of the UK’s employees is being discouraged from taking time off of work due to staff shortages. The survey found that many employees are having their requests for leave denied.

The findings by the Annual Leave Allowances survey follow a recent study that found labour shortages were the “most urgent problem” presently facing the UK economy, with over 1.3 million job vacancies. 

The Annual Leave Allowances survey found that staff shortages were the largest disrupter of annual leave requests, while 26% of office workers said they can’t enjoy time off once they are granted it as they’re contacted to help cover unplanned staff absences as well as excessive workloads.

The survey also found that 60% of employees feel their employer explicitly discourages them from taking leave, while 1 in 10 don’t feel they can ask for mental health leave. 

These findings come despite many companies advertising flexible working arrangements and generous leave entitlements in job adverts.

Will Foster, Professor of Leadership at Keele University, commented: “It’s essential that if the ‘espoused’ values of the organisation include employee wellbeing and restorative breaks, then leaders need to allow that to happen and do more than pay lip service. Management must do the hard work of ensuring the structures, roles, responsibilities and staffing levels align so employees can take a ‘true rest’ when needed.”

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