Four out of ten accountants don’t use their full annual leave entitlement

Accounts fail to use up all annual leave entitlement

39% of accountants do not expect to use their full quota of annual leave, with many feeling unable to take the time off, according to the latest Robert Walters Career Lifestyle Survey.

The most common cause, cited by 60% of respondents, was pressure to complete a project, busy workloads or having applications for leave turned down.

“Despite an overall increase in accountancy headcounts, heavy workloads show little signs of abating, fuelled mainly by a continually improving economy,” said Richard Boyd, Associate Director at Robert Walters.

The research also reveals that one in five accountants who don’t take their entire bloc of leave say they cannot afford to accommodate a holiday.

Other factors include a fear of falling behind, loyalty to helping the company achieve business goals and even guilt at leaving colleagues to take the strain caused by their absence.

Some accountants work so hard that they lose holiday, ending the year with too many days of annual leave to roll over.

Making time for annual leave

To make the most of your annual holiday entitlement, we recommend:

  • Arranging holidays well in advance. Scheduling time for a break will allow your team to prepare for your absence, as well as reduce much of the associated stress when making plans before you leave.
  • Switch off. Allowing time to truly ‘switch off’ will ensure you get the rest you need across a busy working year. Although weekend breaks can help in the short term, try to allow for an extended holiday at least once a year.
  • Disconnect. While it can be tempting to check company emails while you’re on holiday, it might not be conducive to giving you the break you deserve. Instead, ensure someone else in the office is well-briefed on your work so that they can answer any urgent questions which may arise in your absence.

Despite an overall increase in accountancy headcounts, heavy workloads show little signs of abating, fuelled mainly by a continually improving economy. 

About the survey

The Robert Walters Career Lifestyle Survey asked professionals a range of career lifestyle questions relating to their attitudes to career progression, work-life balance, working overseas and their contribution toward the success of the business.

Find out what you’re worth using the Robert Walters Salary Survey.

Or, find your next accounting opportunity via our job search page.

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