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Over half of workers already used their annual leave by September

Over half of Britons have already used their annual leave, and 69% will be planning sick days for the rest of the year as a result

New research has revealed that over half of British workers have already used up their allocated annual leave, despite there still being four months left of the year before it is due to renew. The study also revealed that as many as an average of six sick days will be taken by employees polled in order to get time off for the rest of the year.

According to a leading money-saving website in the UK, employees are taking sick days as a result of already having used up all of their allocated annual leave, with another four months to wait until the holiday allowances are reset.
The study, carried out by researchers at, questioned a total of 2,124 British citizens, each of whom was in full time employment at the time of the poll and had holiday allowance which resets in January of each year. There was an equal split of male to female respondents.

Respondents were initially asked ‘How many days of your allocated annual leave have you got left?’ with a majority of respondents (58%) indicating that they had no remaining annual leave. Almost a third (29%) of respondents revealed that they had between one and seven days remaining, whilst 11% of respondents had more than 7 days remaining. Only 2% of respondents had their full allocation of annual leave remaining at the time of the survey.

Respondents who indicated that they had no remaining annual leave were asked if they regretted using up all their allocated holiday, instead of evenly distributing the days, to which a majority of respondents (73%) revealed that they did regret taking it all so early in the year. These respondents were then asked to disclose whether they were likely to take sick days for fake illnesses in order to have days off during the rest of the year, to which 69% of those respondents indicated that they would be.

Next, all respondents who revealed that they would fake an illness, were asked to disclose out of which of the remaining months of the year they would be most likely to call in sick. The top answer was in December with 46% saying they would fake a sick day during this month, 

In order to find out how many days off these respondents were likely to take, when calling in sick, the relevant respondents were asked to provide their estimate. The researchers found the average answer to be 6 days off.

George Charles, spokesman for made the following comments regarding the findings of the study: “Understandably, many workers take the majority of their holiday during the summer holidays, but it is surprising to see that so many of respondents have used all of their annual leave already. It is worrying to see that this results in more people taking sick days off work when they just want a day off.”

He added: “Christmas can be an extremely busy period, which is why it would seem that the majority of respondents will take sick days in December. With Christmas to prepare for, and the kids off school, it can be hectic, but I would urge people to be better prepared in future and distribute their annual leave more evenly.” 


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