November 5, 2022
Many people don’t check whether they are getting enough holiday allowance. Some don’t even know how much they should be getting. It’s easy to get caught up in work, focusing on taking home your pay and not stopping to think about holidays – until you need one.
Let’s look at the basics. Those who work full time (five days a week) are entitled to 5.6 weeks (28 days) of paid holiday per annum. You will receive this if you are an agency worker, someone that works irregular hours or even someone on a zero-hours contract. Your employer may or may not include bank holidays as part of this. If you work part-time then your holiday allowance will be calculated pro rata. Someone working 4 days a week will receive 4 x 5.6 (22.4 days). But even if you are receiving the statutory annual leave, is this enough? When it comes to physical and mental health, receiving a few days extra leave might make a major difference.
Employers used to think that if they gave staff additional days off, productivity would suffer. However, various studies have shown that this is not the case. Imagine a world in which your holiday allowance is computed along with your salary and other benefits so that you receive a personalised amount. This would vary according to your experience, skills and what you can offer the company. This doesn’t happen now but maybe it should. The old method of awarding an extra day per year is outdated and bears no relation to real life. Employers should be looking at what their employees need, and extra holiday allowance should be top of the list.
Holidays need to be attuned to people. If a worker is exhausted after a huge project, awarding an extra week-off work goes down well. The employee returns to work with their batteries recharged and the employer benefits from receiving top performance from a truly energised person.
Holidays off work are not a luxury. Taking time away is crucial for health and well-being as well as heightened productivity. Employees need time to completely switch off, lock away their laptops and focus on life outside of work. This should also bring about a drop in absences due to sickness.
Times are changing and employees should be encouraged to take sufficient time off away from work, spreading it throughout the year. Not taking a full holiday allowance should be a no-no, as those who do not chill out will suffer eventually. If HR notice that this is common practice with some staff, it’s worth checking out that all is OK at home. If work is being used as a way of escaping from stress, help should be offered.
Holiday allowance needs to be tailored and generous, but there should be a ceiling. If a top level is not set, then staff may get confused about what is an acceptable holiday allowance and what isn’t. No matter the size of the company, supporting the health and well-being of the workforce in terms of holiday allowance will pay dividends in terms of performance and productivity.
If you are struggling because your holiday allowance is insufficient, talk to your boss. Put forward some of the arguments given above. They may decide to up not only your holiday allowance but that of other employees. If you are not working or seeking a new position, look out for companies that focus on awarding increased holiday allowance. If they are forward-looking enough to do this, imagine how proactive and energised the working environment will be.Back to Blog