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Dublin: 14°C Thursday 24 June 2021

The Irish are among the most 'holiday deprived' in Europe

A new study has found that as a nation we throw away 3.3 million holiday days a year.

Image: holidays via shutterstock

IRISH WORKERS ARE some of the most pushed in Europe when it comes to taking holiday days.

On average, we receive five days less than our European counterparts – despite a 5% increase in holiday days on the year before.

The study found Irish workers took an average of 22 days a year – while our continental neighbors were found to have taken 28 days.

Holiday deprived

It was also seen that almost half of all Irish people (46%) felt holiday deprived. Despite this almost 8% left a number of holiday days unused. In total, last year we had 3.3 million unused holiday days.

Although things might not be perfect here – they could be a lot worse. In the United States it was found that workers were entitled to an average of 15 holiday days a year and took 14 on average.

In Canada things are only slightly better with workers entitled to 16 holiday days a year and generally taking only 15.


For many Irish people a lack of money was the main reason for not taking more holiday days. Other reasons included ‘work schedule does not allow’ and a wish to carry days into the following year.

Bizarrely, it was also found that one in ten Irish people would be willing to forego a shower for a week to be able to have one extra day’s holiday.


The majority (77%) of Irish bosses were seen as supportive of their employees taking holidays. This was compared with 55% internationally. In France, only 28% of bosses were seen as supportive of employee holidays, and in South Korea, this figure was 33%.

Another finding in the report was that workers are now more inclined to take a number of long-weekend breaks throughout the year – rather than the traditional two-week summer holiday.

The results come from the 2014 Expedia Vacation Deprivation Study which looks at holiday patterns from 7,855 adults from 25 countries on four continents.

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