Stop the stockpiling of annual leave in Australia

Travel Club supports Tourism Australia's ongoing No Leave No Life campaign and welcomes their initiatives to help companies maintain successful annual leave programs.

Tourism Australia's research into annual leave stockpiling highlights an endemic problem in Australia's business community, which has been proven to have negative implications for both the employee and employer. The results from Tourism Australia's research into leave stockpiling in Australian businesses indicates that quite often it is workplace issues that are the main barriers for staff not taking their annual leave. Increased pressure to perform, higher workloads and a volatile economy has accelerated the nation's volume of stockpiled leave. Despite this, research proves that leave is a necessary and crucial lever for maintaining staff productivity, morale and motivation.

The statistics on Australia's annual leave:

  • Australia's annual leave stockpile totals 129 million days, according to Roy Morgan Research Single Source Survey, September 2011.
  • One in four full-time Australian employees have 25 or more days of annual leave accrued.
  • 57% of leave stockpilers consider work-related barriers as the reason they're reluctant to take leave.
  • Only 56% of employees that have stockpiled leave believe their employer is supportive of leave taking.
  • Annual leave stockpiling has become an entrenched workplace behaviour potentially affecting every business regardless of size or industry.

According to Tourism Australia there are five main reasons as to why employees accrue their annual leave including:

  1. those who save their entitlements for an extended break
  2. those who are fearful that no one else will be able to do their job
  3. employees who stockpile leave in case of illness or job loss
  4. those with workaholic tendencies
  5. those that feel management is not supportive of leave taking.

Travel Club urges companies that are keen on improving staff morale and productivity to take a proactive stance on creating healthier work environments by actively supporting annual leave.