Should Bosses Call Employees On Holiday?

By: Maxine Sheppard

August 4, 2011

A quarter of bosses think it’s acceptable to call employees while they’re on holiday, according to new research conducted here at Virgin Atlantic. A study of 2,000 employers shows that unless staff are willing to travel to far-flung destinations like the Maldives or the Caribbean, they’re considered fair game for texts, phone calls and emails.


A step too far?

In fact, one in three bosses reckon that staff should expect to be called while on holiday if they’ve failed to tie things up properly before jetting off, according to the study. It also emerged that more than one in ten managers think that if employees are provided with a company mobile phone they should be open to receiving calls when on annual leave.


Four in ten managers say they’re much more likely to ring an employee if they haven’t travelled too far away and according to the survey workers are most likely to get bothered if they visit Devon, the Lake District and Cornwall, whereas very few bosses would disturb a holiday in New Zealand, the Caribbean or Thailand.

A brutal 14 per cent of no-nonsense employers have even telephoned a worker to reprimand them while they’re away on annual leave. But 23 per cent of adults said they simply don’t get paid enough to have their holiday disturbed by their employer and over a quarter refuse to let work take over their time off.


Creatures of habit

But it seems Brits don’t help themselves, with the typical holidaymaker checking their phone up to 12 times a day, although 80 per cent said they do this more out of habit than necessity. The poll found that 20 per cent of workers actually expect to get calls when on holiday but find it extremely annoying.


It also emerged that in a typical two week holiday the average adult sends nine work related texts or emails. A more relaxed one in five workers said it didn’t bother them that much when they get calls from the office while in sunny climes, although nearly half of us have ignored calls while holidaying.


And you?

What do you think? Have you ever been bothered by the boss’s long-distance breathing down your neck while you’re sipping a sundowner on the beach? Or if you arethe boss, would you ever dream of disrupting someone else’s dream holiday? Let us know in the comments below.


For a get-away-from-it-all holiday, visit Virgin Holidays who can tailor something to your exact requirements (including remote destinations with patchy phone signals) or hop on over to for all of our latest flight deals.


Maxine Sheppard

Maxine is the co-editor of the Virgin Atlantic blog. Travel and music are her joint first loves, and despite having written for Virgin for more years than she cares to remember she still loves nothing more than jumping on a plane in search of new sights and new sounds.