Hardworking construction workers take less holidays than anyone else

When work is especially busy and stressful, do you tend to seek an escape, or selflessly work through the hectic period, leaving unused holiday a familiar occurrence?

Research conducted by Sunshine into the holiday habits of Britons, told us that 34 per cent of UK employees finished the working year with unused annual leave, with the majority of construction workers only taking four days annual leave a year.

The study involved 3,172 people 18-years-old and over working in full time employment from 30 different sectors, entitled to 28 days paid annual leave.

The top five sectors in which workers take the least amount of their holiday allowance are:

  • Construction – 4 days
  • Healthcare – 5 days
  • Retail – 7 days
  • Media and Journalism – 8 days
  • Marketing – 10 days


Those who didn’t take their full holiday entitlement are not doing so due to 86 per cent feeling “too busy”, and 4 per cent feeling that they “didn’t want to/didn’t feel it was needed”.

57 per cent of these respondents said that they lost all of the annual leave that they did not use as a result of not taking it.

Chris Clarkson managing direction of www.sunshine.co.uk, said: “I can’t see why anyone with allocated, paid holiday allowance would not take it all over the course of the year. It’s understandable that work gets busy from time to time, but that’s all the more reason to take some time off… not a reason to just sacrifice your annual leave!

This is actually a really worrying trend, particularly because people working in construction and healthcare can’t afford to make mistakes in their jobs due to the nature of their roles and the environments they work in.”

Not all sectors are afraid to make full use of their annual leave, with some sectors averaging over their allowance:

  •  Hair & Beauty – 35 days
  • Travel/Tourism – 32 days
  • Recruitment – 30 days
  • Hospitality – 29.5 days
  • Sales  – 28.5 days


So construction workers are the hardest working people in the UK, according to the study – which is something to be proud of, and certainly highlights that construction work is thriving. However, hard workers deserve some rest, and Clarkson notes that: “Not taking time away from work can lead to tiredness and, in turn, errors.”

Recent Posts

Let's talk

We are more than just a recruitment company - we are a business solutions provider, actively solving resourcing issues for our clients.