Aussies Say Overwork Prevents Them Taking Holidays

Compared to (say) the US, Australians get a reasonably generous allocation of annual leave. However, it seems many of us aren't taking them because we feel too pressured by work commitments.

Picture by fabonthemoon

In a survey of 2,000 Australians by hotel chain Best Western which asked why respondents needed a holiday, 42% said they hadn't been able to take one because of "work commitments and stress". 13.6% said family commitments had blocked them from taking a break, and 8.6% said they didn't have enough money for a holiday.

In the first two cases, a reassessment of priorities might be in order. In the case of a lack of funds, a staycation would be one possibility.

What's blocking you from taking regular breaks? Tell us in the comments.


    Definitely work! There's an expectation to not take annual leave, even though we're given it. I make the most of public holidays and long weekends for domestic holidays.

    I once told a potential employer that after the initial 12 months I would only work 11 months of the year because after the first 12 months you accrue 4 weeks holiday and I would be taking them every single year.

    The interviewer asked "what makes me think I deserve it?"

    I said "The Law". I didn't get the job.

    Whats wrong with working 11 months of the year? We are ENTITLED to 4 weeks holiday - any employer that thinks otherwise needs to be sued.

    Throughout my working career I have had deadlines and plenty of work to do, so have tried to take my holidays during the rare quieter times. Inevitably this has let me to accrue some leave, not being able to take all of it each year.
    When finishing a job I have always been paid out the balance, so haven't really lost out.
    Sometime my colleagues built up their annual leave so that they had a cushion if they got made redundant.

    the longest leave ive taken since starting fulltime work 6 years ago was 3 weeks for my wedding and honeymoon. and that was within my first year so id only accrued 1 week of leave by then so it had to be mostly leave without pay.

    leave is just not accepted, there are many people here with a good 6 months or more (on top of long service).
    2 weeks around Christmas is common place, but anything else is generally frowned upon.

    I worked for a multinational with an extremely lean workforce that it was virtually impossible to go on leave. Once I took a 1-day leave only to be called back to work so I could deal with some urgent requests. Slavery is back with a new twist.

    I almost never take leave, so high is the pressure not to. What happens instead is I get incredibly sick. Then I'm forced to take "leave" one way or the other.

    I ended up quitting my last job when the boss cancelled my much needed leave with the excuse "we're too busy for you to take leave right now"
    I had just finished a project that was 6 months of 70 hour weeks.

    The laws here are funny, I cannot take leave when I want coz it has to be approved by the supervisor and I am forced to take my holidays during the lockdown period when the supervisor wants to go away on leave. At that time I have nothing to do. So, I have to sit at home or force myself to a trip I never wanted in the first place at the time of the year when I'd rather sit indoors with the aircon.

    The laws make bullying and harassment easier for Employers and supervisor.

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