7 in 10 workers didn’t use all their vacation time in 2012: Survey

Senior management must set example

Most employees failed to use all their vacation time in 2012, according to a survey by Right Management.

Seventy per cent of employees said that they did not take all the time due them, while just 30 per cent said they had, found the survey of 700 Canadian and American workers. The findings are consistent with those of a similar survey one year ago, where 70 per cent reported not using all their vacation time in 2011.

“Such a reluctance to take all of one’s vacation is a sign of an intense, pressure-filled workplace,” said Monika Morrow, senior vice-president of career management at Right Management.

“This is a trend that’s grown during the recession and we may in fact have a new norm, which would be unfortunate. However important devotion to the job may be, there has to be some balance and vacation is so important to one’s health and happiness.”

Senior management should not just to encourage employees to take their vacation, but also to be sure to take their own.

“It’s the boss who sets the example and sends the message. And if the boss won’t take all of his or her vacation, then workers will pick up on that and may be inclined not to use all theirs. After all, vacation is essential for a healthy and productive workforce,” said Morrow.

“For someone to skip a few days off may not be significant, but when each year it seems to become most employees doing so then something’s not right. Who could be surprised, in time, by unnecessary turnover, declining retention, higher absenteeism or more frequent health or safety claims?”

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