Fewer holidays for UK growers


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Agriculture industry sees annual leave dip by 8% - despite allowance rising

NEW analysis of over 3,000 companies has revealed that the agriculture industry has seen one of the biggest dips in people taking annual leave in the last two years - despite an increased push on employee wellness. 

The report, conducted by HR systems specialist AccessPeopleHR, looked at absence leave data of more than 122,000 employees over the last three years. 

In the agriculture industry, the number of annual leave days taken has dropped 8% in the last two years. 

This is despite the average allowance in the sector rising by 12.7% - from 30.5 days to 34.4, including bank holidays. 

British farming has seen a string of challenges following rising costs, labour shortages and uncertainty in the market, with the National Farmers’ Union urging the government this year to support British food producers. The pressure on the industry could be leading fewer people in the agricultural sector to take annual leave. 

Nationally, Access PeopleHR found that the average entitlement offered to staff is now 34 days a year, including bank holidays. This is up by five days annually since 2020, when it stood at 29, meaning staff get an extra working week off. 

The industries with the biggest drops of people using annual leave: 

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Annual leave days taken (2020-2022)

Electricity, Gas, Steam And Air Conditioning Supply


Water Supply; Sewerage, Waste Management




Transportation and storage


Wholesale and Retail Trade


Human Health And Social Work Activities


Professional, Scientific And Technical Activities


Financial and Insurance Activities






Charles Butterworth, Managing Director, Access PeopleHR, commented on the research: 

“Whether it’s financial worries, busy work schedules or simply not having enough booked in your calendar to justify annual leave, there’s hundreds of complex reasons why some staff in the agriculture sector may not be utilising all of their annual leave. 

“This report into the current status of annual leave across multiple industries in the UK highlights how important it is for employers and companies to have a stringent HR system in place that makes it easy for staff to book holidays, but also simple for managers to spot those that haven’t booked enough, and encourage them to set aside dates in the calendar for time off. 

“The fact that holiday entitlement has grown so much in recent years is promising, however it will become pointless if they’re seen as job perks - but people are too busy to take them. Companies need to take action to identify the reasons for the lack of holiday requests, and ensure that they implement ways of working that rectify this.”

Photo: Steve Bidmead

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