More than one in five workers did not take any annual leave in 2021, according to a new study from the Central Statistics Office.
The CSO’s “Personal and Work-Life Balance Survey” reveals that the most common barrier to taking paid leave was being short staffed.
For workers with children who said there were barriers to taking leave at work, one in eight said they had to keep their leave for school holidays while one in 14 needed to keep it in case their children got sick.
Full-time workers in larger organisations were more likely to take annual leave than their part-time equivalents, while length of service also impacted on a worker’s likelihood of taking annual leave.
The study also shows that more than one in eight workers said that taking unpaid leave was harmful to their career.
Almost 17% of employees surveyed had availed of flexible hours in the previous 12 months.
32% of employees in the financial sector availed of flexible hours compared with just 10% of employees in the construction sector.
Over 90% of workers were aware of their entitlements to breaks at work, but there was less awareness of the entitlement to daily rest periods.
“The Personal and Work-Life Balance Survey was carried out in Quarter 3 2021, at a time when varying levels of Covid-19 in the community, with related restrictions, would likely have impacted on annual leave, sick leave and other forms of leave from work,” said Maureen Delamere, a statistician with the CSO.
The report is the first of three publications on the results of the Personal and Work-Life Balance Survey carried out by the CSO.
A study focussing on job satisfaction, well-being and employment barriers will be released in two weeks’ time, followed by a report on remote working later this month.