Thursday, 10 June 2010

Overworked Americans can't use up their holiday entitlement

Yesterday's HR Case Study considered the clearly outrageous suggestion from across the Atlantic that the unemployed should be actively discouraged from applying for vacant job positions.

HR Case Studies: HR: How can you be so stupid?

The feedback from readers certainly suggests that UK HR Professionals are far less taken in by such a strategy than those in the land of the Brave and the Free.

But perhaps the unemployed Americans may be a more fortunate bunch than immediately meets the eye, especially as employees in the USA have the least entitlement to annual vacation in the industrialised world.

The 13 days that most Americans are entitled to compares very unfavourably to Italy (42), France (37), Germany (35), Brazil (34), Britain (28), Canada (26) South Korea (25) and Japan (25)

To make matters worse, one in six US employees are unable to use up their entitlement because of overwork (according to a (yes, you've guessed it!) survey!)

HRM Guide: Overworked Americans can't use up their holiday entitlement.

The survey also shows that:
  • 34 per cent of respondents said their jobs were so pressing that they had no down time at work.
  • 32 per cent work and eat lunch at the same time.
  • 32 per cent do not leave the building during the working day.
  • 19 per cent say their job makes them feel older than they really are.
  • 19 per cent said workplace pressures make them feel that they must attend work even when injured or sick.
  • 14 per cent feel that company management only promotes people who habitually work late.
  • 8 per cent believe that if they were to become seriously ill they would be fired or demoted. 
All of this is summed up in the words of a computer analyst in Poughskeepie who has gone without a vacation in two of the last four years:
If you take off a week, you've got three times as much work to do when you get back.
So, unemployed Americans, don't worry, at least you have some time off work!

  • Or are we actually much better off in the UK?

1 comment:

  1. Oh I do find surveys fascinating. Can I assume, given the figures above, that 81% think their job makes them feel the same age or younger? Sounds like a winner to me.

    Anyway - are we better off in the UK? In regards to holidays, assuming that people take them then I guess we. But I’m willing to bet at least half of my remaining holiday entitlement that there are many people who do not take their full allowance. And when they do, I wonder how many take their Blackberry and/or laptop and check their emails while the family splash in the pool?

    As for the other issues mentioned I would imagine that they are common themes the whole world over.

    Anyway, must go as my dinner is getting cold and I’ve just dropped half of it over my keyboard!!!