Title

Not taking annual leave: what could it cost Australia?

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Cairncross, G & Waller, I 2004, 'Not taking annual leave: what could it cost Australia?', Journal of Economic and Social Policy, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 43-59.

Abstract

Australians work longer hours than all other OECD nations and generally do not use all their leave entitlement. According to National Occupational Health and Safety Commission (NOHSC) figures, workplace accidents and disease may cost the Australian economy $37 billion. However, this figure may be an underestimate. This is because the costs of workplace stress are not included in these figures. It has been established that organisations that do not overwork their employees and offer hours of work that are more sociable tend to be more productive. It has also been established that taking holidays over a period of 20 days or more is helpful in reducing workplace and other stress. This paper considers these issues and suggests an agenda for future research to increase our understanding of the importance of taking annual leave for a holiday to workers and the Australian economy. The findings of this research suggest both policy makers and employee relations practitioners need to consider the importance of work-family balance, health economics and employee wellbeing.