No holiday for 73 per cent of Irish workers

Fifty lost their jobs each working hour in Ireland in May

Nearly three quarters of Irish workers will not be going away for a holiday this year, the latest poll from Peninsula Ireland reveals.

It also found that only 26 per cent of Irish workers have already booked a foreign holiday this year due to the economic downturn.

Additionally, stress levels in the workplace have also increased with 49 per cent of Irish employees stating that stress levels because of increased work pressure was higher than they were last year, the survey found.

Alan Price, managing director of Peninsula Ireland said yesterday that the economic downturn is forcing employees to forgo taking a summer holiday and this is potentially bad for staff morale and can create long term problems for a business.

“All employees need a break, they need time away from the workplace and summer holidays are an ideal opportunity to recharge batteries.

“If Irish workers cannot afford to get abroad then they should look at spending some quality time away from work, whether they spend this time at home or take a short break within Ireland."

Mr Price added that stress levels seem to be on the increase, and that an exhausted worker is not good for a business.

“They can make mistakes, create safety problems, especially if they operate machinery, tempers flare, morale is damaged. It's obvious that everyone is working that little harder but common sense needs to be applied by both the worker and the employer, so managing stress should be considered a priority. "

The results came out as it was revealed that redundancies surged by 166 per cent in May compared to the same month last year with 336 jobs lost each day this year so far, the latest official figures from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment show.

The figures confirm that there have been 35,925 redundancies this year, an increase of 166 per cent on the same period in 2008.

Almost half (49 per cent ) of the redundancies were in construction and manufacturing. However, 34 per cent of job losses were in the services sector and females now account for 31 per centof redundancies, confirming that job losses continue to be spread throughout the whole economy.

The seriousness of the situation can be gauged by the fact that there were 40,000 redundancies for the whole of 2008.

With current trends this figure will be exceeded by the end of June, resulting in more redundancies for the first half of 2009 than were witnessed in all of last year. In fact there were more redundancies announced in the month of May '09 than for the whole of 1996.

ISME, the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association, said Ireland is undergoing a "jobs catastrophe".

It expressed its concern that the trend in redundancies continues to increase without any respite. If immediate policies are not introduced, an already catastrophic situation will become a national disaster. The association warned the Government to get off its hands and introduce an Emergency Employment Action Plan, without delay.

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