Post Office research: Over a third of UK workforce at work over Christmas period

This Christmas 40 per cent of the UK workforce will be at work for some or all of the Christmas period (25 December – 1 January) despite the fact that over half of them (52 per cent) will lose holiday entitlement as a result.

According to new research released today by Post Office® Travel Services, 25 per cent of people surveyed are working because they have too much work to do to take time off. A further 58 per cent couldn’t take annual leave because of shift rotas or other colleagues getting in there first. And a handful admitted they liked their jobs so much they would rather be there than at home or on holiday with loved ones.

It appears we are a truly a nation of workaholics. As well as those missing out on their holiday entitlement by working through Christmas, the research also showed nearly four in ten UK workers (37 per cent) won’t have taken their full annual holiday entitlement by the end of 2007, meaning a staggering 1.3 billion* days holiday will be lost.

People working for the government or public sectors are most likely to work over the Christmas period (75 per cent) as well as lose some of their holiday entitlement (59 per cent). Those working in the service industry are least likely to lose their holiday days (13 per cent) and those working in advertising, marketing or PR are least likely to be working over the holiday period (11 per cent).

Men are worse than women at booking their full holiday quota with 39 per cent of men losing out compared to only 32 per cent of women.

Of those who claimed to be losing their holiday entitlement, nearly half (49 per cent) will lose between four and seven days and seven per cent will lose three weeks or more (15 days). Regional differences show that over a third (36 per cent) of workers from East Anglia have a staggering three weeks or more holiday remaining, whereas only 25 per cent of those working in Lancashire have any holiday entitlement left to take.

Post Office® head of travel services Helen Warburton said: “We were surprised to discover that so many people will be at work during the festive period. Particularly when we have seen healthy sales of foreign currency over recent weeks which suggests more people are heading abroad.

“It’s also worrying to learn that so many people are not using up their holiday entitlement for the year. For those that do choose to go away, the Post Office® can help you make the most of your break with a local one-stop shop for travel services such as bureau de change, insurance and pre-paid travel money cards.”

For more information on Post Office® Travel Services, visit or call free on 0800 169 9999. Or pick up a leaflet at any one of the 14,000 Post Office® branches throughout the UK.

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