It appears there is a price on unused vacation time in the United States. A WSJ.com article reveals that “Americans are throwing away $52.4 billion every year because they won’t take time off from work.” That is not a number to sneer at.
The article goes on to highlight a recent study on vacation time conducted by Oxford Economics, an economic analysis firm. Let’s explore what they found out about our collective reluctance to go on vacation:
- Results in our own personal burnout and reduced productivity at work
- Affects a company’s financial results because it has to accumulate employee vacation time as a liability. The study shows that U.S. businesses have $224 billion in liabilities based on employee vacation time, not including sick or personal leave
- The resulting liability also means many companies must be prepared to “pay out vacations if employees retire or leave”
- While “most unused vacation days are carried over for future time off or payout when an employee leaves,” use it or lose it policies and expiration dates on accumulated vacation days have resulted in employees forfeiting approximately $52.4 billion in earned benefits each year