Why taking a summer break is good for you - and your career

By Lesley Stewart, CA Today

24 August 2018

Summer is synonymous with switching off from office life and not stressing about work, if only for a few weeks. Yet UK employees are only taking half their annual leave - which can be damaging for your health and career.

A recent study from Glassdoor has found that two in five UK employees reported taking a maximum of just half their holiday entitlement last year, with the average employee taking just 62% of their allowance.

Of those that did use their allowance, 23% regularly checked emails and 15% percent continued working.

Whilst not taking a proper break may seem harmless, it can damage your health - and your career. "Evidence shows you become less productive without proper breaks. Even if people work longer hours, they're not as creative and can't maintain the same intensity level," says Penny de Valk, managing director at HR services group Penna.

This might explain why half of those surveyed by travel group Expedia felt that a holiday abroad is a necessity, rather than a luxury. And with the average British family spending £5,000 on their summer break, insurance expert’s PG Mutual are warning that travel insurance and sunscreen are not the only protection families should be considering for summer.

Summer holiday essentials

With holidays already around 145% more expensive during the school holidays, many UK families will have to stretch their budget to afford the holiday they want.

With budgets still restricted for many, planning ahead is a key part of making sure that an annual break can become a reality. With budgeting for travel insurance, luggage cover and many other holiday extras a reality of trips, it’s also important to consider where you would find essential holiday funds if you were to lose your income due to an unexpected illness or injury.

PG Mutual are also encouraging employees to consider the one eventuality many holiday makers don’t think of – the risk of paying for your break if you were to find yourself without an income after the booking is made.

Mike Perry, Chief Executive at PG Mutual, explains that’s why income protection insurance is so important.

Mike said: “This can be a key time for families planning their annual breaks, and that they have a lot of financial considerations in doing so – however, for those who have committed to a financial obligation such as credit card or holiday repayments who rely on our cover, they may not be able to meet these obligations without it.”

Some will still be paying off the cost of their holiday long after their tans have faded – but with no plan in place for managing debt repayments if their income was lost, your dream holiday could become a nightmare.

Why you should consider income protection insurance

Whilst travel insurance may provide medical cover should you fall ill or be injured on your break, it’s important to think about what happens if you can’t go back to work after your holiday. The consequences of a long-term illness or injury mean that an accident overseas could seriously impact a person’s ability to meet their financial obligations for some time to come once they are home.

While some employers may have a sick pay policy in place, many do not – meaning that an accident abroad could end up seriously impacting a person’s ability to meet their household bills for some time to come.

Mike explains: “Whether you’re saving up to pay for a holiday for your family, or making repayment arrangements, no one ever likes to think about what would happen if you fell ill.

“But no holiday is worth leaving your family with serious financial difficulties, so we advise families to consider cover which would pay them a monthly amount in the event of illness or injury and go some way to helping ensure they don’t end up missing repayments or having to use their savings to survive.”

Read more about your holiday essentials

Visit PG Mutual

About: Mike Perry, CEO of PG Mutual

Mike has over twenty five years’ experience in financial services, having worked with large corporate organisations as well as being a successful consultant within the Mutual sector. He previously held a variety of senior management and Board roles in Sales and Marketing with the Skipton Building Society Group. As a consultant, Mike worked with a number of Building Societies to assist in increasing business and staff development, within a regulated environment.

Mike joined PG Mutual as CEO in 2011, overseeing the rebrand of the business which resulted in subsequent business development across a wider professional market. This has, in turn, seen record membership figures achieved by the Society, and a substantial increase in assets. Mike was delighted to be nominated for the Hertfordshire Business Awards’ ‘Business Person of the Year’, and ‘Judges’ Award’ in 2013. Mike is the Chairman of the Friendly Society Collective.

This blog is one of a series of articles from our commercial partners.
The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of ICAS.


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