Please, take a holiday

July 30, 2017

“Please take a holiday.”

If those four words aren’t music to your ears you’ve most likely added to an astounding statistic: Australians leave more than 111 million days of annual leave on the table each year.

New research from online accounting software, Xero, suggests more than half of all Australians fail to use their annual leave entitlements.

According to Xero’s Travel Habits Report, which analyses the travel trends of Australian workers and small business owners, 52 per cent of us have failed to use all of our entitled annual leave in the past year. A further 45 per cent admit to not using any annual leave so far in 2017.

The Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work, published a report last year which showed Australians are foregoing $11.1 billion in unused leave annually.

The Centre’s Director, Jim Stanford, the survey data showed the average full-time worker in Australia loses 5.1 hours per week to unpaid overtime – or 264 hours per year. Workers donate $116 billion dollars’ worth of hours to their bosses, every year.

“About half cited work-related pressures as inhibiting their leave: including being too busy, having too much to do, being reluctant to ask, or worried it would affect their job security or promotion chances,” Stanford says.

“We don’t want to see a nation of empty beaches, unblackened sausages and grandparents waiting too long between visits. We want refreshed workers who have had the chance to spend some quality time with their families.”

Mercer Pension and Savings specialist, Nancy Lazgin says some employees refuse to take leave because they feel their manager can’t live without them but many don’t take the vacation time they are entitled to because their manager doesn’t really support time off.

If you’re one of those managers, Lazgin says, you need to rethink the true meaning of vacation time –“a period of rest and freedom from work or study”.

“The results of such a supportive practice may be more intuitive than you think,” Lazgin says. “A little respite leads to higher productivity as recharging one’s battery gives rise to renewed energy even if only briefly.

“Along with the improved morale comes greater job satisfaction, which is something all employers strive to create as it translates to job stability.

“Managers need to support and encourage as well as participate in positive vacation practices which not only benefit them, but you and your family as well as the company’s bottom line.   Every stakeholder wins.”


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