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Catch up with the latest press releases from LV=

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Busy Brits addicted to work

Press release: 15/06/2012

  • One in five (20%) workers will not use all of their annual leave allowance this year, losing seven days' holiday each on average

  • A quarter (25%) of those who do go away end up working while on holiday

  • Half way through the fourth day of a holiday is when Brits feel most relaxed and have finally unwound from everyday stress

Thousands of British workers are failing to use all their holiday entitlement as they feel too pressured at work to take time off.

New research from LV= travel insurance found that although the average worker now gets 25 days' annual leave each year, many fail to use all their allowance. One in five (20%) working Brits will not take their full holiday entitlement this year and will waste an average of seven days' holiday each. This amounts to British companies benefiting from an extra £540 [1] per worker from holiday days not used.

The main reason given by those who do not take their full holiday entitlement is they say they struggle to fit in holidays around their work schedule. A quarter (24%) say their workload is too demanding for them to take a break, while a similar number (23%) say they cannot fit in annual leave days around their colleagues' holidays. Job security is a real concern for many, with one in seven (15%) saying they worry about being away from work in the current economic climate.

Yet even when Brits do holiday they are never far from work. A quarter (25%) of those currently employed admitting to working while they are away and almost a third (31%) say they spend time thinking about work on their holiday. In fact, most workers spend an average of three hours and 40 minutes either working or thinking about their job during their break.

It is clear that British workers find it hard to forget about work and relax on holiday. In fact, the research found that the average Brit needs three and half days to feel relaxed and unwind – almost half the length of the average holiday (7.4 days). Employers will not necessarily benefit from having staff who are unable to switch off from their work. Over a quarter (28%) of workers say they feel more productive after a holiday and psychologist Dr Glenn Wilson recommends people take regular breaks from work to improve their work output.

Commenting on the research findings, psychologist Dr Glenn Wilson said: "There is ample evidence that holidays have a positive effect on mood, well-being and health. However, as these benefits appear to be mostly short-lived and tend to fade within two to three weeks it is best to take a series of short breaks rather that one long, extended holiday."

"Holidaymakers returning to work are healthier, happier and therefore likely to be more productive. A balance needs to be struck with workers who say they are too busy to take a holiday as the strain of not having a break will accumulate over time leaving them more likely to burn out and be less effective at work."

Selwyn Fernandes, Managing Director of LV= travel insurance, said: "In these uncertain economic times many people find themselves not only with less money, but also with heavier workloads. Yet a few days off is good for our general wellbeing. With people continuing to worry about work while they are away it is important to have adequate travel insurance to take away any other holiday worries."

About LV=

LV= employs 5,000 people and serves over five million customers with a range of financial products. We are the UK's largest friendly society and a leading financial mutual.

When we started in 1843 our goal was to give financial security to more than just a privileged few and for many decades we were most commonly associated with providing a method of saving to people of modest means. Today we follow a similar purpose, helping people to protect and provide for the things they love, although on a much larger scale and through a wide range of financial services including insurance, investment and retirement products.

We offer our services direct to consumers, as well as through IFAs and brokers, and through strategic partnerships with organisations such as ASDA, Nationwide Building Society and a range of trades unions.

LVFS is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority, register number 110035. LVFS is a member of the ABI, the AFM and ILAG. Registered address: County Gates, Bournemouth BH1 2NF.


  1. The average annual UK salary is £26,000 and this equates to £77.74 (equivalent day rate) x seven (the average number of holiday days not taken) = £544.