Holidays are a chance when we finally get to hop on a plane, travel abroad or just spend some time unwinding with family and friends. Employees are legally entitled to 5.6 weeks of paid holiday leave per year. But surprisingly, majority of workers fail to use their holiday allowance – and many do not even have the option to carry it over to next year, according to a report by UK’s leading HR software and support service, BrightHR.
Workers who work a 5-day week must receive at least 28 days paid annual leave per year, according to the UK law. However, 77% of UK workers still have unused holiday leave, and in addition, 59% of employees have no option to carry over their leave until next year, according to the survey which analysed data from 250,000 SMEs who use BrightHR services.
“As businesses head toward the end of their leave year, employers should encourage their staff to take their full leave entitlement,” Alan Price, CEO and HR expert at BrightHR, said. “Taking annual leave can prevent employee burnout and avoid disputes further down the road, such as an employment tribunal.”
“Employers should regularly remind staff about their remaining leave, and that untaken leave will be lost, subject to carryover rules.
“Employers should reassure reluctant employees that they will cover their workloads. And if this is a recurring concern amongst staff, employers should look at how they distribute work.”
Mr Price encourage employers to honour their staff’s annual leave and if not, they will inevitably “pay the price” as taking time off holidays is essential to building long-term satisfaction within the workforce.
He added: “Employers who believe they are gaining if employees don’t take their full entitlement are mistaken, and they will eventually pay the price for not encouraging staff to take their full annual leave entitlement.”
Employees are entitled to paid holidays, including apprentices, zero-hours workers and casual workers. It is important that employers alert their staff to any outstanding holiday entitlement and encourage them to take leave – or else workers run the possibility of being unable to carry their holiday entitlement onto the following year.