SINGAPORE: Nearly nine in 10 (88 per cent) of working Singaporeans felt they deserved more annual leave in 2018, with 77 per cent willing to take a pay cut to get an extra day off, a survey found on Thursday (Jul 25).

According to travel company Expedia’s latest Vacation Deprivation Survey, about six in 10 Singaporeans said they were deprived of vacations in 2018, up from 57 per cent in 2017 and 41 per cent in 2016.

The survey placed Singapore as the sixth most vacation-deprived market in the world.

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(Graph: Expedia)

Conducted with 11,000 full-time working adults across 19 countries, including 300 people in Singapore, the survey uncovered workers’ sentiments on whether the number of vacation days they received in 2018 was adequate. 

The top five most vacation deprived are India, South Korea, Hong Kong, Malaysia and France, the survey found.

CONNECTED TO WORK WHILE ON HOLIDAY

More than half (53 per cent) of Singaporeans surveyed said they stayed connected to work during their vacation time, with 79 per cent checking their emails or voicemail at least once.

“On top of that, Singaporeans also felt an expectation to be available constantly by their colleagues while on their break, with 30 per cent saying that they are expected to be available constantly by their supervisors – the third-highest percentage globally after India and Malaysia,” the travel agency said.

The survey also found that half of the Singaporean workers took fewer days of annual leave than the amount they received in a year. 

“When asked about the reasons for not taking time off for a holiday, being unable to get time off work emerged as the top reason for doing so among 39 per cent of Singaporeans – the highest in the world,” Expedia said.

WIM leave 7

Employee working late.

Expedia’s Head of Communications for Asia Pacific Lavinia Rajaram said: “In a dynamic, fast-paced society like Singapore, it came as no surprise that workers want more annual leave to go on vacations. 

“Taking regular, quality vacations is known to provide numerous positive benefits to the personal and professional well-being of workers across the globe.”

The survey also showed 70 per cent of Singaporeans had taken at least one mental health day off in the past year, the fifth-highest in the world.

On average, Singaporeans took three days off last year to care for their mental health.

expedia survey 2

Asia Pacific stood out as the most vacation-deprived region in the world, with seven in 10 most vacation-deprived countries coming from the region. 

On the other hand, the least vacation-deprived countries are Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico and New Zealand.