19 May 2024, 21:52
By Furniture News Aug 28, 2023

Retail workers taking less annual leave, despite rising allowance

New analysis of over 3000 companies has revealed that the retail sector has seen one of the biggest dips in people taking annual leave in the last two years, despite an increased emphasis on employee wellness.

The annual leave report, conducted by HR systems specialist Access PeopleHR, looked at absence leave data of over 122,000 employees over the last three years. In the retail and wholesale sector, the number of annual leave days has dropped by -5.6% in the last two years – despite the average allowance in the sector rising by a fifth - from 28.7 to 34.2 days, including bank holidays. 

The retail sector in the UK is facing a string of challenges, with Wilko named as the latest chain to enter administration. With consumer spending declining amid rising inflation and interest rates, the industry is under pressure to keep costs low - while overcoming obstacles such as declines in footfall. 

As such, the demand to overcome adversity in the sector may be leading to fewer people feeling like they have time to take annual leave, suggests Access PeopleHR, adding that other causes could be due to the high cost of living causing workers to feel that they cannot afford to go on holidays, or miss overtime while on annual leave. 

Nationally, Access PeopleHR found that the average entitlement offered to staff is now 34 days a year, including bank holidays. This is up by five days annually since 2020, when it stood at 29, meaning staff get an extra working week off. 

Charles Butterworth, MD, Access PeopleHR, comments: “Whether it’s financial worries, busy work schedules or simply not having enough booked in your calendar to justify annual leave, there’s hundreds of complex reasons why some staff in the retail sector may not be utilising all of their annual leave. 

“This report into the current status of annual leave across multiple industries in the UK highlights how important it is for employers and companies to have a stringent HR system in place that makes it easy for staff to book holidays, but also simple for managers to spot those that haven’t booked enough, and encourage them to set aside dates in the calendar for time off. 

“The fact that holiday entitlement has grown so much in recent years is promising. However, it will become pointless if they’re seen as job perks - but people are too busy to take them. Companies need to take action to identify the reasons for the lack of holiday requests, and ensure that they implement ways of working that rectify this.”

Find the full annual leave report here.

© 2013 - 2024 Gearing Media Group Ltd. All Rights Reserved.