Annual leave rollover

How many annual leave days are Brits hoping to roll over into their next holiday period?

The pandemic has changed our lives in many ways and one of the most obvious shifts can be seen in the way we are now travelling, or rather the lack of it. This has meant that many Brits have chosen staycations over heading abroad or have erred on the side of caution and stayed home altogether, meaning fewer holiday days have been taken and Brits now have surplus annual leave this year. The government pre-empted this back in March before the national lockdown, when it made a new temporary law. It allows workers to carry over up to four weeks’ paid holiday over a two-year period. However, it is still up to employers to decide if they allow their employees to do this. We wanted to find out how many plan to roll their excess holiday days into their next holiday period, so we did some research.

Quick overview

  • Over two-thirds (67%) of Britain’s full-time employees plan to roll over at least one day of annual leave into the next annual leave period.
  • On average a full-time employee will take 5.11 days over into their next annual leave period.
  • Millennials hope to take the most leave over into next year, with an average of 5.65 days being rolled forward.

How many holiday days do full-time Brits plan to roll over?

Our research found that over two-thirds (67%) of full-time workers are planning to carry over at least one day of annual leave into their next holiday period. This equates to 20 million UK adults, if all of the workers who intended to carry over holidays are allowed to do so by their employers. Of those who plan to roll over annual leave into their next holiday period they will hope to carry over an average of 5.11 days, with almost 2 in 5 full-time workers (37%) intending to take in excess of 5 days over.

Full-time employees in the UK get paid £117 per day on average, so Brits who don’t take all of their annual leave are essentially working an extra 5.11 days and will be losing out on £598 this year. This will even out over the next year, whereas in previous years they would have lost out on this income if they did not use all their annual leave. However, this could cost businesses across the UK a total of £12 billion over their next annual leave period, if they gave their employees permission to roll over annual leave. This is because employees will be working less for the same pay.

Number of annual leave days they plan to roll over Percentage of full-time employees
0 days 33%
1-2 days 8%
3-5 days 22%
6-8 days 15%
9-11 days 9%
12-15 days 6%
16-20 4%
21 days or more 3%

Generational differences

Full-time millennial workers are planning to take an average of 5.65 days forward, making millennials the generation that plans to roll the most days over. However, it is generation Z that has the largest proportion of people who plan to bring annual leave into their next period, with over three-quarters (76%) planning to do this.

Generation Will roll over annual leave
Postmillennial/generation Z (born after 1996) 76%
Millennials (born 1981–1996) 74%
Generation X (born 1965–1980) 64%
Boomers (born 1946–1964) 55%
Silent (born 1928–1945) 0%

Regional differences

Londoners plan to carry over the most days this year, with an average of 7.66 intended to be used next year. Additionally, 81% of full-time workers in the capital say they hope to take at least one day forward. East Anglia is at the other end of the scale. Residents there only plan to take an average of 3.87 days of annual leave into the next period. This region also has the highest number of residents that will take no leave forward, with 43% of those from East Anglia saying they intend to do this.

Region Will roll over annual leave
East Anglia 57%
East Midlands 68%
London 81%
North East 63%
North West 70%
Northern Ireland 71%
Scotland 64%
South East 64%
South West 66%
Wales 64%
West Midlands 64%
Yorkshire and the Humber 61%

For all media enquiries, please contact

Matt Mckenna
UK communications manager
T: +44 20 8191 8806


  • Finder commissioned Onepoll on 8–10 September 2020 to carry out a nationally representative survey of adults aged 18+.
  • A total of 2,000 people were questioned throughout Great Britain, with representative quotas for gender, age and region.

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