Two thirds of Scots expect to be contacted by work when on annual leave, new survey reveals

Al Murray (loveholidays)

TWO-thirds (66%) of Scots say it is very likely someone at work will contact them while on annual leave, according to a new survey from online travel agent loveholidays.

A poll of 2,000 Scottish working adults revealed almost half (46%) of Scots don’t feel they currently have a healthy work-life balance, with 15% saying they are too busy to take time off and a further 11% feeling guilty for being away.

The survey also revealed that on average Scots only have 11 days booked off between now and the end of the year, with three in four (73%) confident they will use all their annual leave this year. 

Those from West Lothian are the least likely to use their annual leave, with one in five (21%) not taking any days off so far this year, whilst those in East Dunbartonshire and Fife are also guilty of not using any leave yet in 2023 (18%).

Meanwhile, people living in Stirling aren’t scared of booking in their annual leave, with the average working adult taking nine days off already this year and just 5% haven’t booked leave for 2023 yet.

Nearly half (46%) of Scots are deliberately planning to take less time off this year due to financial concerns, while one in four (24%) blame themselves for not planning ahead in booking the time off.

The survey by loveholidays also found that, on average, six days off work is the ideal time needed for Scots to recharge and reset, with July, August and December being the most common times to book leave.

The ideal ways Scots like to spend their annual leave include seeing friends and family, travelling to dream destinations and lounging on a beach.  

More than four in five (83%) say their work-life balance is important to their overall well-being, with being able to switch off and having time to travel being the main benefits to taking annual leave.

Al Murray, Chief Marketing Officer of loveholidays, said: “Struggling to strike a good work-life balance is one thing, but with a cost-of-living crisis to contend with too, it’s understandable many are finding it harder to take time off in 2023. 

“Taking a break is so important for people’s wellbeing and planning ahead so you can take the time to reset is essential. Whether it’s simply using the time to see friends and family, or pursuing your travel dreams and exploring new destinations, taking time off shouldn’t have to be an expensive luxury. 

“At loveholidays, we’re on a mission to open the world to everyone, with loads of last-minute summer breaks for every type of traveller still available to help Scots find the perfect getaway for them and make the most of any time they do have off.”

Top ten areas in Scotland where people haven’t taken annual leave this year 

  1. West Lothian – 21%
  2. East Dunbartonshire – 18%
  3. Fife – 18%
  4. Moray – 16%
  5. City of Edinburgh – 16%
  6. West Dunbartonshire – 15%
  7. Aberdeenshire – 15%
  8. Dumfries & Galloway – 14%
  9. Angus – 14%
  10. North Ayrshire – 13%


Consumer research conducted by Censuswide of 2,000 Scottish working adults in May 2023.

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