Over 300 million days of UK annual leave is wasted each year by employees


Everyone in the UK could plant 70 trees each with the 300 million days of annual leave wasted each year, research shows.

A recent survey of 2000 full time and part time employees has found that the average UK worker only uses 62% of their annual leave allowance each year.

Taking the data from the survey of 2000 UK workers and extrapolating to the full working population of the UK, staff holiday planning software company Timetastic have calculated that UK workers waste over 2 billion hours or over 3 million days, a year by not taking 38% of their annual leave.

That’s a LOT of lost opportunities to spend time with friends and family, take trips abroad, or enjoy a hobby.

So, what exactly could we accomplish with all that wasted holiday time? Here’s what Timetastic revealed in its interactive infographic:

With that time:

•        Everyone in Northern Ireland could walk the length of the Great Wall Of China

•        Everyone in the UK could plant 70 trees each (over 4.5 billion trees in total)


·         Everybody in Manchester could binge watch all of Coronation Street just under 3 times

·         Everyone in England could travel by submarine to the bottom of the Mariana Trench over 11 times

·         Everyone in Northern England could visit Alton Towers 13 times 


·         The entire population of Wales could summit Mt Everest 1 and a half times

·         The trip to Mars could be made almost 1.5 million times

·         Everyone in Scotland could complete the Route 66 road trip 4 times


Timetastic are firm believers in the benefits of taking annual leave, backed up by organisational psychologist Dr Nadine Greiner who warns that not taking leave can result in decreased productivity and health.

The World Health Organisation also recognises burnout as a valid threat in its International Classification Of Diseases, with the #1 cause of burnout being working too much.

With only 106 days left in the calendar year, UK full time workers can apply to use their unused 10 days across the Christmas break, as applying for leave from the 16th of December will give them 17 days leave until the 2nd of January – and a well-deserved break.

With the average full-time worker now putting in over 42 hours of work a week, and around 2 billion hours of unpaid overtime being worked each year, the importance of taking holiday time is greater than ever.


Gary Bury from Timetastic commented on the topic, saying:

“There’s plenty of research showing that workaholic cultures don’t breed more productive businesses – just burnout. From an employee’s point of view, it’s important to take leave to keep yourself in good health, physically and mentally.

“For employers, it’s just as important to encourage workers to take annual leave. The modern stresses of life, including pressure in work, continue to be linked to poor mental health, and the more an employer does to help reduce the pressure, the more productive an employee can be.

“So, don’t waste your holiday entitlement, time off is important.”