More than one-half (52 per cent) of British employees who are not self-employed admit to having worked through their holidays. Nearly one-fifth (18 per cent) make a regular habit of it, according to a survey released by Croner, provider of workplace information, software and services.
There is also a notable difference among age groups, with 14 per cent of 18- to 24-year-olds saying they always work during a holiday versus three per cent of the 55-plus age group, found the survey of 2,000 people in the United Kingdom.
"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,” said Amy Paxton, Croner's senior employment consultant.
"Work-related stress is now recognized 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, said Paxton.
“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.”
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