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Vacation days a guilty pleasure not to be abused

Posted on December 23rd, 2011 Read time: 1 minutes

Expedia's recent 2011 Vacation Deprivation study revealed that around the world, workers failed to use an average of four vacation days this year – an increase from three days in 2010.

Italian workers topped the list, leaving an average of seven days on the table. Japanese employees followed with six days, while Americans typically did not use two of their days.

However, HREOnline found conflicting data that proves Americans are using fewer vacation days than ever before.

A Hotwire study of more than 2,000 Americans pointed to an average of 6.2 vacation days per year left unused, while a JetBlue study found 57 percent said they leave 11 days on the table.

According to Scott Durschlag, president of Expedia, Americans view vacations "as a guilty privilege to be downplayed around the workplace – especially if they are worried about their jobs."

Furthermore, the Expedia study found that around 22 percent of respondents don't have the funds to take a vacation day, while 20 percent aren't able to properly plan.

Many workers may be working straight through the upcoming holiday week, Fortune reports. Michael Haid, a senior vice president at Right Management, cautions employee benefits administration against allowing this to happen, as "Vacation time is fundamental to a healthy, productive workforce."

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