April 25, 2024

Finance and insurance industry sees annual leave dip by 9% in last year

A new report reveals that employees in the finance and insurance sector are not using their full annual leave entitlement, which means that they could be working over their contracted hours. 

The annual leave report, conducted by HR systems specialist Access PeopleHR, analysed data from over 3,000 companies to reveal that the finance and insurance sector has seen a 9.11% drop in annual leave taken per employee from 2022-2023. Nationally, annual leave taken has dropped by 7.6% in the last year – and by 12% since 2020. 

The annual leave report brings attention to the importance of taking time off, which can boost employees well-being, motivation and job satisfaction. However, some companies struggled with challenges like staff shortages and increased workloads, which has made it difficult for employees to use their full annual leave entitlement. 

The finance and insurance sector ranked third in the list of 18 industries who gave up their annual leave. On average, employees in the industry took 34 annual leave days in 2023 – down from 37 in 2022. 

The agriculture, forestry and fishing industry was the worst off, with an 11.85% drop in annual leave days taken per employee. The construction industry found itself in a similar situation with a 10.98% drop, and their average annual leave entitlement also dropped by 6.61% – the greatest out of all the industries. 

The top 10 industries with the biggest decline in annual leave days taken 

Industry  Annual leave days taken (2022-2023) 
Agriculture, forestry and fishing -11.85%
Construction -10.98%
Financial and insurance activities -9.11%
Education -8.89%
Transportation and storage -8.51%
Accommodation and food service activities -8.27%
Professional, scientific and technical activities -8.21%
Information and communication -7.92%
Recruitment -7.07%
Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply (utilities) -6.63%

Charles Butterworth, managing director at Access People, said:  “Workers across the UK are under a great deal of pressure with rising household expenses, work-related stress and personal commitments. It’s more important than ever that people take time off to rest and recharge – so that they can come back stronger.

“But taking holidays should never feel like it’s part of the job. As revealed in the report, the number of employees taking their full annual leave entitlement has declined in all industries. There could be many reasons for this, like poor planning, anxiety about falling behind, or a heavy workload. Ultimately, it’s our duty as employers to help our teams book time off, whether this is through regular reminders or implementing a simple and efficient booking system. 

“Companies need to take action and investigate why employees are reluctant to take time off, so that they can put strategies in place to support them. It’s also essential that companies and employers have a clear view of any requests, so that they can manage them instantly.”

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