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Business activity sees Christmas leave decrease

16 December 2004

Business activity sees Christmas leave decrease

There has been a dramatic decrease in the amount of leave New Zealand employees will take over the Christmas and New Year period this year compared to 2003. In a survey conducted by specialist recruiter Hays, 55 per cent of 1,100 respondents said they will only take public holidays, not additional leave, this Christmas season. This is a sharp increase on the 12 per cent who only took public holidays last year.

In a complete reversal of the situation last year, just 9 per cent of employees plan to take more than 4 weeks leave, compared to 56 per cent who took more than 4 weeks leave last year.

Comparatively, 36 per cent of employees will take a couple of weeks leave this year, compared to 32 per cent last year.

“Unemployment has fallen to its lowest level in 27 years and despite most workplaces operating at staffing capacity, business growth is high and workloads are surging meaning business pressures have increased,” said Jason Walker, General Manager of Hays New Zealand. “This is a marked difference to the business situation last year, and so with business confidence and activity higher, less people are able to take leave.

“This doesn’t mean employers are stopping their employees from taking any leave, however businesses are generally not encouraging extended breaks of four weeks or more,” he said.

The survey was conducted on and received 1,143 responses in 2004. The survey question asked, ‘How much leave will you take over Xmas and New Year?’.


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