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Aussies have how much annual leave accrued?!

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2014 – March 2015 (n=3,716).

Full-time workers, pack your bags! The latest results from Roy Morgan Research reveal that Australia’s full-time workforce has a grand total of 123,510,000 days of annual leave accrued, or an average of just under 21 days leave each. That’s a whole lot of holidays waiting to be taken!

Male workers account for 69% — or 85,357,000 days — of total leave owed, or an average 22 days each. The remaining 38,153,000 is owed to female workers, with the individual average being 18 days. (It is worth remembering that men comprise almost two-thirds of Australia’s full-time workforce.)

While the proportion of workers with no leave (9%) or less than four weeks’ leave (41%) amounts to half the full-time workforce, this leaves 11% of workers with between four and five weeks’ leave up their sleeves, and 28% with more than five weeks due. A further 11% can’t say how much leave they’ve accumulated.

Annual leave owed to Australia’s full-time workers


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2014 – March 2015 (n=3,716).

Leave and let leave

Workers in certain industries tend to have a higher level of annual leave accrued than others, with those employed in Wholesaling (25 days), Public Administration and Defence (24 days), Agriculture (24 days) and Transport and Storage (24 days) being especially likely to have accumulated substantial leave balances.

Average annual leave balance by industry worked in

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2014 – March 2015 (n=3,716).

With average leave balances of 15 and 16 days respectively, construction and communication workers tend to be among those who actually make use of their leave.

Angela Smith, Group Account Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“It’s almost impossible to fathom: Australia’s six million full-time workers have no less than 123,510,000 days’ annual leave accrued between them! Even when we consider that this equates to just under 21 days each, that’s a lot of leave – more than four working weeks per person.

“It is interesting to note the difference in average leave balances between industries, with people employed in wholesaling, public administration and defence, and agriculture having above-average amounts of annual leave waiting to be enjoyed.

“With the average full-time leave allowance being four work weeks per annum, this would suggest that people are not taking much time off. Yet contrary to what their leave balances might suggest, our data reveals that Australia’s full-time workers do take holidays. In the last 12 months, 75% went on at least one trip.

“What’s more, 80% are planning to take a trip in the next 12 months. Considering the volume of annual leave between them, this represents a great opportunity for destination marketers and tourism operators to target these people and offer suggestions on how and where to spend their leave!”

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About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%