Three quarters of mums working an hour or more a day during annual leave

Nearly three quarters of working mums have been doing an hour or more of work a day during their annual leave, according to a Workingmums’ poll.

The poll of nearly 300 parents found 74 per cent said they did an hour or more of work a day on average during their annual leave. Eight per cent just checked email; eight per cent don’t do any work and 10 per cent are not currently in work.

One woman said: “I can never ‘switch off’ completely – there is always something to do!”

The German carmaker Daimler announced recently that it will allows its employees to opt out of email while they are on leave. They can have their email sent to employees who are on annual leave will be forwarded to another colleague and deleted. People who send email will be notified by a ‘Mail on Holiday’ message that the employee is on leave and advised to contact a colleague.

Daimler board member Wilfried Porth told the Financial Times: “Our employees should relax on holiday and not read work-related emails. With ‘Mail on Holiday’ they start back after the holidays with a clean desk. There is no traffic jam in their inbox. That is an emotional relief.”

A recent survey by community organisation Glassdoor showed the average UK employee only uses three quarters of their annual leave entitlement every year.

Forty four percent of UK employees reported doing some work while on holiday, with employees in Scotland most likely to do some work on holiday, followed by those in London (51%) and the Southeast. Younger employees, aged 16-24, are least likely to use all their annual leave awarded – just 12 per cent say that they  use their full holiday allowance.

One in ten employees have worked while on leave because they were concerned that they may get behind in their work. This rises to 17 per cent for employees in the Southeast. Ten per cent of employees worked because they wanted a pay rise and nine per cent because they felt that no one else at their company could do their work while they were out. Again, more employees in the Southeast (15%) than any other region admit working while on holiday, citing that no one else could do the work. Eight per cent of employees admit working because they feel completely dedicated to their company.

Stress and well being are an increasing concern for businesses. The Health and Safety Executive estimates absences caused by stress cost the economy over £6bn a year.


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