One in three workers surveyed for the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) had more than a week left over at the end of their last leave period – and 23 per cent had more than two weeks.
Overall, more than half (51 per cent) said they ended the year with leave left to take.
The top reason given was ‘too much work and deadlines’ (30 per cent), while 23 per cent said no-one was available to pick up their workload.
Pressure not to take time off work (14 per cent) and concerns about job security (nine per cent) were also cited.
The CSP is calling for employers to recognise the benefits of staff taking their leave to remain healthy and productive at work - those with holiday left over told the survey it left them more tired (29 per cent) and stressed (26 per cent).
Sue Rees, CSP chair of council, said:
“This is a real concern because not taking leave to tackle your workload is a short-term solution that could become a long-term health problem.
“Over-working can lead to conditions such as back pain or stress that require extended spells of sick leave.
“So the people who do not take leave because of workload issues risk compounding those problems by making themselves too ill to work.
“It makes no sense for the employer either. Tired, stressed employees will not produce their best work and the costs of covering staff absence can be very high.
“Employers need to encourage their staff to use their full allowance because a healthy, motivated workforce is a productive one.”
The CSP is releasing the Aviva-sponsored poll results ahead of its annual Workout at Work Day, when hundreds of physiotherapy staff will be going into workplaces and other public spaces to encourage people to increase their levels of physical activity.