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August 10, 2011

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Employees habitually take work on holiday

More than half of British employees work through their holidays and one in five makes a regular habit of it, new research has revealed.

YouGov polled more than 1200 working (but not self-employed) adults for workplace information provider Croner and found that 52 per cent of them have worked through their holidays. Young people were more likely to check and send emails during leave periods than their older colleagues – 14 per cent of 18 to 24-year olds said they always work during a holiday versus just 3 per cent of the 55+ age group.

According to Croner, while bosses may think an email from an employee on holiday demonstrates their commitment to the organisation, such activity could indicate an underlying problem of over-work.

Said the company’s senior employment consultant, Amy Paxton: “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.
 “Work-related stress is now recognised 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.”

Ms Paxton encouraged employers to actively discourage the practice of working through periods of annual leave. She said: “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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