The Importance of Annual Leave for Your Employees’ Health and Wellbeing

There are many reasons for to use some annual leave... 

But many employees in the UK aren't making the most out of their annual leave entitlement...

Whether we go on a family day out, stay at home or go on holiday, there are plenty of reasons for us to take a day off work. But, despite this, the average UK employee uses just 62% of their annual leave entitlement (Glassdoor).

As an employer, you might think this would mean your staff are getting through more work and being more productive. In reality, it’s the opposite, taking our annual leave lets us forget about work even for a day and come back feeling more refreshed and ready to go.

Here’s the benefits of encouraging your employees to make the most of their annual leave…


Benefits of Annual Leave for Your Employees’ Health and Wellbeing:

Reducing stress:

According to a study by the American Psychology Association holidays help us to feel better as they remove us from the tasks or environments that cause the feelings of stress and anxieties. This can help our overall mental and physical health by reducing the impacts of stress like stomach problems, headaches or difficulty concentrating.

Improved mood:

Taking a well-needed break from pressures of deadlines and workload can make us feel calmer and more relaxed, giving a boost to our overall mood.

An overall health boost:

Workers who don’t have a healthy work-life balance can become unwell, which can result in your employees taking time off sick.


How it Can Benefit Your Company:

Improved productivity:

When we take our minds off work, even just for a few days at a time, it can give us a different perspective and improve our work when we get back!

Helps your teams solve problems and think creatively:

For those employees in your organisation who need to think creatively or solve problems on a daily basis, taking some time off can help! A change of scenery or routine can give us new experiences which can fuel creativity and help us see problems in a new way.

Reduces absenteeism:

We all know that a health and happy employee is less likely to be absent, and with figures showing that 131 million working days a year are lost due to sickness absence (Britain’s Healthiest Workplace Study) it’s certainly something worth addressing!


How You Can Encourage Your Employees To Use Their Annual Leave:

  • Make it easy: have your holiday booking process simple for your employees, let’s them know how much they are entitled to and how much they’ve used and make sure your holiday policy is clear and easy to find.
  • Remind them to make the most of it: use company newsletters, individual emails and one to one meetings to remind your employees about using their annual leave. This can encourage them to book time off throughout the year and create a culture where discussions around holidays are open and positive.
  • Share recommendations: encourage your teams to share their favourite places for a family day out, city break or somewhere longer. This contributes to a culture where taking time off is seen more positively.
  • Get managers involved: make sure you talk to your line mangers about the importance of annual leave, how to respond to holiday requests, and ensuring a handover is done and that their teams aren’t expected to check emails while they’re away. It’s also important to make sure they’re taking annual leave too, not only for their own health and wellbeing but it can encourage their teams too!
  • Help them save money while on leave: offering discounts on family days out, restaurants or holidays can help encourage them to make the most of their day off.
  • Let them get more days off: there are some years when we have more plans than we can fit into our annual leave entitlement. Why not implement an Annual Leave Purchase scheme? That way your employees can buy extra days off and spread the cost over an entire year through salary sacrifice.


How we can help:

If you need support creating a strategy that puts your employee’s mental health and wellbeing at its heart we can help. Get in touch with our experts today to see how we can help you tackle issues like loneliness at work to help you become an employer of choice.

Employee Assistance Programmes


American Psychology Association
Britain’s Healthiest Workplace Study