Around 8% of workers across the UK – a total of 2.2 million people – take fewer holidays than they are legally entitled to, leaving them at risk of burnout.
Over half of these people – some 1.2 million workers – are not getting any paid breaks at all, the TUC said, after its analysis of the Labour Force Survey.
People who work excessive hours are at risk of developing heart disease, stress, mental ill health, strokes and diabetes, which has a knock-on effect on co-workers, friends and relatives.
The Working Time Regulations entitle workers to a minimum of 5.6 weeks of paid leave each year.
The TUC said that it had identified three main reasons why employees are not getting the leave they are entitled to:
- Workers are being set unrealistic workloads that do not allow time to take leave.
- Employers deliberately deny holiday requests and manage out people’s leave.
- Employers have not kept up to date with the law, which was changed nine years ago to increase employees’ leave entitlement.