Holidaying employees unable to let go

Half of employees contact work on holiday

Half of employees will remain in contact with work while on holiday and two thirds will worry about their job security, according to a new report.

The survey of more than 1,900 people conducted by Peninsula, the employment law consultancy, found that over half will call the office at least once and 63% will keep in contact almost daily.

Peter Done, the MD of Peninsula, blames the trend on the prevalence of technology. “It is often difficult to switch off from work when going on holiday but it should be about recharging batteries and getting away from the working environment.”

He added: “Whilst it is admirable that many workers stay in touch it is important to realise that employees should take advantage of the physical and mental break – after all, this may be the only holiday the employee will get all year.”

There are ways to keep stress down. Done suggests that employees should plan ahead to foresee any problems that may arise, and ensure that while on leave email is set to auto-reply leaving another colleague’s details as a point of contact for urgent queries.

It is also a good idea for email auto-replies to have the date for return set as the day after the employee arrives back, in order to give time to deal with email backlog.

Equally, the importance of the employer’s attitude is not to be underestimated. Done warned: “Employers who force their staff to work whilst they are on holiday or do not intervene even if aware of how committed their staff are run the risk of being taken to employment tribunal.”

© Crimson Business Ltd. 2007

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