New analysis of over 3,000 companies has revealed that the transport sector has seen one of the biggest dips in people taking annual leave in the last two years – despite an increased push on employee wellness.

The annual leave report, conducted by HR systems specialist Access PeopleHR, looked at absence leave data of over 122,000 employees over the last three years.

In the transport sector, the number of annual leave days taken has dropped 6.3% in the last two years.

This is despite the average allowance in the sector rising by 18% – from 28.6 days to 33.8, including bank holidays.

The UK transport sector is facing increasing challenges amid the rise in road vehicle fuel, supply chain issues and funding reviews. HS2, one of the biggest transport projects in the UK, is years behind schedule.

The pressure on the transport sector to deliver on projects like HS2 may be leading fewer people in the industry to take annual leave.

Nationally, Access PeopleHR found that the average entitlement offered to staff is now 34 days a year, including bank holidays. This is up by five days annually since 2020, when it stood at 29, meaning staff get an extra working week off.

The industries with the biggest drops of people using annual leave:

“Whether it’s financial worries, busy work schedules or simply not having enough booked in your calendar to justify annual leave, there’s hundreds of complex reasons why some staff in the transport sector may not be utilising all of their annual leave.

“This report into the current status of annual leave across multiple industries in the UK highlights how important it is for employers and companies to have a stringent HR system in place that makes it easy for staff to book holidays, but also simple for managers to spot those that haven’t booked enough, and encourage them to set aside dates in the calendar for time off.

“The fact that holiday entitlement has grown so much in recent years is promising, however it will become pointless if they’re seen as job perks – but people are too busy to take them. Companies need to take action to identify the reasons for the lack of holiday requests, and ensure that they implement ways of working that rectify this.”

Readers can find the full annual leave report, here: