By Marcus Leach
Research by YouGov for Croner, the UK’s largest provider of workplace information, software and services, reveals that 52% of the British employees who are not self-employed admit to having worked through their holidays.
Further to that nearly one in five (18%) surveyed said they make a regular habit of it.
The research also reveals a notable difference between age groups, with 14% of 18 to 24 year olds surveyed saying they always work during a holiday versus 3% of the 55+ age group.
14% of East Midlanders in the survey admit to always working through their holidays, as opposed to 2% in the North West and 3% in Wales.
Bosses may think that an email from an employee while on holiday demonstrates their commitment to the organisation. But working through holidays may reveal an underlying problem of over-work.
“The whole point of holidays is to ensure that workers are entitled to a period of rest and relaxation. If they do not have this time it could cause or exacerbate stress issues," Croner’s Senior Employment Consultant, Amy Paxton, said.
“Work-related stress is now recognised as a very serious occupational health issue. Poor management of the risks involved can be very costly to employers in a number of ways, including high levels of absenteeism, increased staff turnover, recruitment costs and insurance premiums, low staff morale and productivity, personal injury claims and enforcement action.
“The practice of working through periods of annual leave should be discouraged. If an employee is suggesting that they are working during their holidays because they feel they have no alternative, then an employer should consider what support can be given to reduce workload or address any staffing issues.
“Furthermore the organisation’s stress management policy should be reviewed as working during annual leave may be seen as an indicator that work-related stress is not being properly managed and is, ultimately, a failure of the employer’s duty of care to their employees.”
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