Australian workforce owed more than 123 million days of annual leave: research

Australia's six-million strong workforce are owed 123,510,000 days of annual leave or more than four working weeks per person, despite 75 per cent of them taking at least one trip within the year, a new research has found. -- PHOTO: BLOOMBERG
Australia's six-million strong workforce are owed 123,510,000 days of annual leave or more than four working weeks per person, despite 75 per cent of them taking at least one trip within the year, a new research has found. -- PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

SINGAPORE - Australia's six-million strong workforce are owed 123,510,000 days of annual leave or more than four working weeks per person, despite 75 per cent of them taking at least one trip within the year, a new research has found.

Between April 2014 to March 2015, male workers were owed 85,357,000 days of the total leave on an average of 22 days each, while female workers were owed 38,153,000, with an individual average of 18 days, public research company Roy Morgan said.

At least 28 per cent had more than five weeks leave due, while 11 per cent have between four to five weeks accumulated off days. Half the full-time workforce has either less than four weeks in the bank (41 per cent) or absolutely no leave left (9 per cent).

A further 11 per cent can't say how much leave they've accumulated.

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"With the average full-time leave allowance being four work weeks per annum, this would suggest that people are not taking much time off," said Angela Smith, Group Account Director of Roy Morgan. "Yet contrary to what their leave balances might suggest, our data reveals that Australia's full-time workers do take holidays. In the last 12 months, 75 per cent went on at least one trip," she said.

Workers employed in Wholesaling had the most days owed (25 days) followed by Public Administration and Defence (24 days), Agriculture (24 days) and Transport and Storage (24 days).

Construction and communication workers tended to be among those who actually make use of their leave, with average leave balances of 15 and 16 days respectively.

But all was not lost.

The researchers found that nearly 80 per cent of the employees planned to go on a trip in the next 12 months.

"Considering the volume of annual leave between them, this represents a great opportunity for destination marketers and tourism operators to target these people and offer suggestions on how and where to spend their leave," Ms Smith said.

rupsk@sph.com.sg