Bad Australia: You’re Not Taking Enough Holidays

Bad Australia: You’re Not Taking Enough Holidays

Regular breaks from work are essential for mental health and productivity, and provisions for leave in Australia are generous compared to some countries, but that doesn’t mean we always heed the call. Research by Roy Morgan suggests more than one-third of us haven’t taken a single holiday in the last year.

Beach picture from Shutterstock

The Roy Morgan figures are based on a survey of 19,833 Australians. In that group, 35 per cent said they hadn’t taken a holiday in the last 12 months. In 2008, the figure was 31 per cent.

Those figures are self-reported, so it seems possible that people are drawing a distinction between single days off (long weekends and the like) and longer planned holidays. Either way, however, it’s not a healthy trend. Plan to take a break. It’s tough, but burnout is tougher.


  • I’m a law student, and I also work around 30 hours a week, and earlier in the year, around easter time, I had a huge burnout. It wouldn’t have been so bad if I had have looked after myself better but I just kept pushing through my exhaustion and constantly compounding illness with the strange idea that I didn’t want to be pathetic and whiney. Now however, after having to deal with the after effects, I’ve learnt to stop being such a dick to myself.

    • But would a one week holiday have fixed you up? I somehow doubt it… That sounds more like a lifestyle issue than just a dearth of holiday time.

      Must say I never really got why brief (and expensive!) holidays where you rush about to fit in all the tourist things and come home exhausted are supposed to help.

      • I didn’t just have a one week holiday, I took a little over a month from work off and had to completely defer my university semester. Fortunately the faculty was understanding. I’m not sure you understand what I was saying, it was a lifestyle issue. I failed to look after myself properly and my willingness to overcommit myself compromised my health. Now however, after that ordeal, I recognise my fault and have rectified it, the process of which included taking regular holidays.

  • Well if the STOP employing people as contractors maybe they would be able to afford holidays. I havn’t had holidays for over 10 years. I’m desperately wanting them but could never afford them. All the bs about your paid higher to cover for holidays etc is just hot air because it never compared. Thankfully now I’m now a FTE and I’ll get holidays.. even thought I’m going to have to wait nearly a year to get my 4 weeks.. Shame on the government for forcing businesses into that kind of model… breaking the human psyche and disallowing appropriate holidays that we so desperately needed.

    • How on Earth did the Government(s?) force businesses into that kind of model O_o If there were no statutory requirements for minimum leave (ie: 4 weeks) there’d be no holidays at all for most people!

      • Its the way they have structured how employers relate to employees. Typically employers do not want the hassle of not being able to terminate an employee.. which created the casual/contract culture we now see.

  • Come and work for IBM. When they can’t meet their quarterly budgets, they (quite forcibly) ask staff to take additional leave for that quarter. No issues at IBM getting people to take leave.

  • I have had 2 weeks off in the last 10 years, the first week i took i remodeled the laundry, the last week i took off i painted the house.
    I enjoy building and fixing stuff. thats a holiday for me.

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