London — Aug. 8
Research by YouGov for Croner, a provider of workplace information, software and services in the U.K. and part of the global information services company Wolters Kluwer, reveals that 52 percent of British employees who are not self-employed admit to having worked through their holidays. Nearly one in five (18 percent) make a regular habit of it.
The research also reveals a notable difference between age groups, with 14 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds surveyed saying they always work during a holiday versus 3 percent of the 55-plus age group.
Bosses may think an email from an employee while on holiday demonstrates their commitment to the organization, 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,” said Amy Paxton, Croner’s senior employment consultant.
“Work-related stress is now recognized as a very serious occupational health issue,” Paxton said. “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.”