05 April 2022
Go to release: Personal and Work-Life Balance 2021 - Main Results
The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has today (05 April 2022) published the first of three publications on the results of the Personal and Work-Life Balance Survey which was carried out in Quarter 3, 2021. The detail in this publication is a subset of the broader data collected. There will be two further publications – “Personal and Work-Life Balance Survey - Job and Life Satisfaction and Barriers to Work” to be published on 19 April and “Personal and Work-Life Balance Survey - Remote Working” to be published on 26 April. The publication today covers the flexibility employees have in work, availability of paid/unpaid leave and flexible working arrangements, barriers to taking these and their awareness of their entitlements at work.
Commenting on the report, Maureen Delamere, Statistician, said: "The Personal and Work-Life Balance Survey was carried out in Quarter 3 2021, at a time when varying levels of COVID-19 in the community, with related restrictions, which would likely have impacted on annual leave, sick leave and other forms of leave from work. We asked respondents various questions about their taking of leave and flexibility in doing so, over the twelve months prior to the survey interview. In 2021, one in five employees did not take any annual leave over the previous 12 months. Full-time workers (92%) in larger organisations were more likely to take annual leave than their part-time equivalents (88%). One in fourteen (7%) employees had their leave request refused with the most common type of leave refused being annual leave (91%).
Just six in ten (60%) employees working in the ‘Caring, leisure and other services’ took annual leave over the previous year, compared with the majority of persons in the ‘Associate professional and technical’ occupation group (92%).
Barriers to taking leave
Respondents were asked about the barriers that exist at their workplace to taking leave. The most common barrier to taking paid leave was being short staffed, but for workers with children, one in eight (13%) had to keep their leave for school holidays while one in fourteen (7%) needed to keep it in case their children got sick. More than one in eight (13%) said that taking unpaid leave was harmful to their career. This was especially so for workers with no children – 16% compared with 9% for workers with children.
Part-time workers in firms with 100 or more people were twice as likely to encounter barriers to taking unpaid leave - four in ten (40%), compared to just one in five (22%) of their full-time equivalents.
At an overall level, one in six (17%) employees availed of flexible hours, where they availed of a working pattern outside the traditional nine-to-five model. Employees in the ‘Financial, insurance and real estate activities‘ sector availed most of flexible hours in the previous 12 months (32%), compared with only one in ten (10%) employees in the ‘Construction’ sector.
One in six (17%) employees availed of flexible hours in the 12 months prior to interview. Of workers with children who had worked flexible hours, over one third (35%) availed of flexible hours for almost all of the previous four weeks, compared with just 14% of workers with no children.”
Looking at employees’ awareness of entitlements at work, Maureen Delamere, further commented: “The majority of workers were aware of their entitlements to breaks at work. There was less awareness, however, of the entitlement to have daily rest periods (76% awareness) – workers whose job was 'Process and plant/machine operatives' had the greatest awareness of this entitlement (91%).”
Maureen Delamere (+353) 21 453 5081 or Caroline Barrett (+353) 21 453 5485
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