Workers take additional days off post-hols

More than a quarter of British workers admit they have taken at least one unscheduled extra day off work to get over their holiday, according to research published today.

The study, carried out by price comparison site, found 27 per cent of people have taken a ‘buffer day’ - an additional day at the end of a holiday - with only a third telling their employer the truth about why they didn’t return to work.

A fake illness, such as food poisoning, flu or sunstroke, was the preferred approach with 43 per cent of people claiming they, or someone they had to look after, was ill.  A further one in eight reported a missed or delayed flight, and one in ten blamed car trouble.

Only two per cent said they felt very guilty about lying or potentially inconveniencing their employer and colleagues. The vast majority said they really enjoyed having an extra day off, were ‘owed it’ by their boss, or were so tired they would have been useless at work.

Those in the South are the most likely to bluff a buffer day with 30 per cent admitting to it. Workers in Scotland are more inclined to return to work as planned, although 22 per cent have taken a buffer day.


The industry in which a person works impacts on the amount of extra holiday days taken. Civil servants are the kings and queens of the buffer day with 40 per cent saying they’ve taken an unscheduled extra day. They are followed in the buffer stakes by professionals in the retail sector (36 per cent). But teachers set a fine example with only 21 per cent of those in education saying they have taken a buffer day.

Kayte Williams, holidays manager at, said: “For many people, their holiday is so hotly anticipated that when it’s over, it is a massive anti-climax. For others, a jam-packed break means they are more exhausted on their return than when they left.

“Our advice is to perhaps take shorter holidays, more often if you can. That way the pain of returning to work, and the need for a buffer day, should be lessened - in theory at least. Or just be honest with yourself and book off an extra couple of days - your employer will thank you.”

Launched in 2003, has grown from simply comparing flight prices to now offering comparisons on tens of thousands of hotels, flights, package holidays, city breaks and car hire, travel insurance and airport parking deals, plus a range of activities and excursions.