Australians are the most holiday deprived people in the world. According to Expedia’s annual global Vacation Deprivation survey, Australia is doing the worst among the surveyed countries (USA, UK, Spain, Germany, France and Australia). Thirty eight per cent of Australians do not take all of their allocated annual leave days. An average Australian usually leaves three days unused. This years’ survey also revealed that 31 per cent of Australians take holidays less than once a year and 13 per cent take holidays even less than every five years. Australians also have the second lowest amount of annual leave. They have only 18 days (Americans are the “first” with 14 days).
What are the reasons for such holiday deprivation? Basically, they are two: money and workaholism. Twenty six per cent of surveyed Australians cited financial pressures as the reason for not taking all their leave. Thirty two per cent of the surveyed claimed that the credit crunch and higher interest will affect their holiday plans for this year. According to the study, 11 per cent felt guilty taking time off work for a holiday and 7 per cent was afraid to leave their work to go on holiday. Thirty four per cent of the respondents claim their work commitments make it impossible to take a break. The majority of Australians who do go for holiday stays connected to their work through mobile phone (57 per cent).
Australian psychologists warn that working long periods without a break may have negative effects on health as well as on relationships. They claim that holidays are vital part of life for maintaining a happy family life and good work productivity.
On the other side of the scale are the French. They have on average 37 leave days a year and usually they do not use only 3 days.