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Massive accrued leave stockpile stands ready for use

July 23, 2019 Headline News No Comments Email Email

About a month after a Roy Morgan survey found Australian workers were owed a cumulative total of 140 million days of leave, new research from Skyscanner and the employee wellbeing and business productivity firm Workscore has revealed that one in five Aussies has not taken annual in the past 12 months.

The lack of leave contributes to the rise of anxious, less productive and burnt out employees, Skyscanner concluded.

Skyscanner, the Edinburgh-based travel fare aggregator website and travel metasearch engine, referred to the Roy Morgan finding in launching an initiative it calls Book A Holiday Week – a national call to arms for Aussies to pledge their annual leave.

140 million days of leave is equivalent to 383,000 years, incidentally. See: 383,000 years of leave – a bonanza waiting to be tapped

Key findings from the research:

  • 30 percent of Aussie workers experience burnout.
  • Close to one-in-three (32%) say their stress levels increase when they haven’t taken time off.
  • One-in-twenty Aussies have quit their job as a result of built-up stress by not taking annual leave.
  • 12% feel they can’t use their annual leave as their workplace discourages it.
  • Almost half (45%) of employees feel guilty or anxious before taking leave.
  • 50% check their emails regularly while on holiday.

Skyscanner, owned by huge Chinese online travel agent Ctrip, has announced it has joined forces with workplace wellbeing platform WorkScore “to help inspire Aussies to take the break that they deserve – and need for their wellbeing”.


Alarmingly, the research revealed that one in 20 Australians have quit their job as a result of build-up of stress having not taken annual leave.

Close to one quarter (23%) say their quality of work decreased; 30% experience burnout and close to one-in-three (32%) say their stress levels increase when they haven’t taken time off.

A Skyscanner statement quoted psychologist and director of Moving Mindsets psychology clinic, Sarah Godfrey, saying the biggest hurdle Aussies face is practising self-care and understanding that both  employees and the organisation benefit from employees taking a break from work.

“Scheduling holidays into our lives has significant positive effects on our overall performance, creativity and function, but often we forget to invest in ourselves and the biggest hurdle we have is practising self-care”.

Workplace Expert and WorkScore co-founder, Suzanne Deeming says that encouraging employees to take their full annual leave entitlement should become a business priority “as it improves employee productivity, morale and reduces stress.

“Workplaces should also discourage employees from working whilst on leave and allow them to fully switch off from work.”

Skyscanner data reveals that almost half (47%) of Australians believe a resort getaway is the ideal holiday type to combat workplace burnout. Just 13% of Aussies said they preferred an active holiday break, while almost 30% said they’d escape on an experiential holiday to combat burnout from work.

Edited by Peter Needham

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