man jumping to water

More Moments of Joy: Why Annual Leave Matters

30 June 2021

Annual leave is there for your employees taking. It's a contractual right. Yet, some employees need encouragement to use all of their allowances. During this blog, we'll tackle why it's essential for your people to take time away from the workplace and how you can give them even more.

We understand the importance of a work-life balance more than ever before, but many UK employees 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.


Annual leave = health and wellbeing benefits


Reduce stress: Holidays help us to feel better as they remove us from the tasks or environments that cause the feelings of stress and anxiety (American Psychology Association). 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 the pressures of deadlines and workload can make us feel calmer and more relaxed, giving a boost to our overall mood.


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.


Healthy people = healthy business


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!


Creativity boost: 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.


Reduce absenteeism: We all know that a healthy 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!


Tips on encouraging your people to use their annual leave


  • Make it easy: Make 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: Ensure you talk to your line managers 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.


How Pluxee UK 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.






American Psychology Association

Britain’s Healthiest Workplace Study