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Charity staff taking less annual leave, report suggests

Melanie May | 27 February 2024 | News

A woman sits with her head on her keyboard in an office room. By Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels

Charities have seen one of the biggest dips in people taking annual leave in the last year, according to a report.

The annual leave report, conducted by Access PeopleHR, analysed data from over 3,000 companies in 18 sectors to reveal that charities, including NGOs, have seen a 6.04% drop in annual leave taken per employee from 2022-2023. Overall, annual leave taken nationally has dropped by 7.6% in the last year, and by 12% since 2020. 

Charities and NGOs ranked 12th in the list of 18 sectors who gave up their annual leave. On average, employees took 40 annual leave days in 2023 – down from 43 in 2022. 


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Access People gives a number of reasons why people are taking less leave, as follows:

The study also looked at which sectors had seen a drop in holiday entitlement in the last year. Charities and NGOs had seen a 2.25% decline. Overall, 83.33% of sectors had seen annual leave entitlement fall.

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.”