UK employers are getting about £18bn of free work out of their staff because they either fail to use their full holiday allowance, or work while on holiday.
These are the findings by employment website Glassdoor.com, which questioned more than 2,000 staff.
Younger people aged 16 to 24 are the most likely not to take their full entitlement, the survey claimed.
In a blog, Glassdoor said that with the average annual leave in the UK at 28 days a year, it means employees could be losing up to 6.5 days a year.
Breaking the results down, employees in Wales used the most annual leave (86 per cent), and those in Scotland the least (64 per cent).
Nine per cent of those interviewed said they had used days off to interview for a new job, rising to 15 per cent in London.
In addition, more than two in five (44 per cent) admitted to working while on holiday – rising to 57 per cent in Scotland, and 51 per cent for London employees, but just 25 per cent of Welsh employees worked while on holiday.
When asked why, 11 per cent said they feared getting behind on their work, 10 per cent said they were angling for a pay rise, six per cent they feared not meeting their goals, and six per cent were scared of losing their jobs.
Joe Wiggins, a representative from Glassdoor, told one online news site: “While there is always work to be done, employees should be conscious of using time off to recharge. In turn, employers should consider being more clear to everyone about what it means to be on holiday.
“Some real rest and relaxation will help employees return to work energised, ready to contribute and make them less susceptible to burn-out.”
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