Have money, will travel: a third of workers would trade pay for holidays

A survey suggests workers would sacrifice some of their salary for a bit of extra time off. Sounds suspicious...

by Emma Haslett
Last Updated: 26 Aug 2011
Inflation may be rocketing, commodity prices might be on the rise and – ye gads! – the price of a family camping trip might have risen by  4% over the past year. But MT must doff its cap to pop star and unlikely economic predictress Jessie J, for it seems she correctly captured the mood of austerity-stricken Britain when she sang ‘it’s not about the mun-eh, mun-eh, mun-eh’. Indeed: a new survey has found that nigh on a third of workers would be prepared to sacrifice some of their salary, if it meant they got a bit of extra holiday. Aah. Doesn’t it make your heart swell?

According to the survey of 1,000 workers by ‘industry-leading recruitment solutions provider’ and buzzword enthusiasts hyphen (with a small aitch), the most likely to want a bit of extra free time are 16-24-year-olds, 41% of whom would be willing to take a pay cut for the privilege. Although they might want to be more careful what they wish for, given that, being unemployed, almost 20% of that age category have altogether too much time on their hands – which they’d presumably be only too happy to trade for a salary. The youth of today, eh? Grass is always greener…

Industry-wise, 43% of finance professionals are keen on the idea (and given the turmoil they’re having to wrangle with at the moment, we can quite understand), while 56% of HR professionals would also quite happily trade pay for free time. Far be it from MT to suggest that, being most business’ holiday gatekeepers, they could probably just sneakily award themselves a couple of extra days of holiday without anyone noticing.

Of course, there are one or two glaring omissions in the survey – namely, how much of their salary would people be willing to sacrifice. Because, realistically speaking, with the price of a loaf of bread quickly approaching the GDP of a small African nation, there aren’t many people who can afford it, at the moment. One clue might be provided by the survey’s timing: it was conducted between July 5 and 21 this year – around the same time that thousands of people are returning from their holidays and thinking wistfully about how lovely it would be to have a couple of extra days off.

Unfortunately, though, disappointing growth figures released on Friday by the Office for National Statistics suggest many businesses are going to have a tough time over the next few months. So it’s going to be more a question of noses to the grindstone and shoulders to the wheel, than getting more time off…

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