The sun has just began to shine in the UK and the summer holiday season is just around the corner, but new research shows that workers do not use their full quota of annual leave.

According to a survey for jobs site Glassdoor by Harris Poll of more than 2,000 people, the average UK employee uses just three quarters (77%) of their total annual leave. The lowest proportion was Scotland (66%) and the highest was Wales (86%).

The study found that in the past year just 50% of employees have used their full quota. In Scotland, this was just 39% and in Wales it was 64%.

"While there is always work to be done, employees should be conscious of using time off they've earned to recharge," said Joe Wiggins, senior jobs community manager at Glassdoor.

"Employers should consider being more clear to everyone about what it means to be on leave and go beyond just encouraging employees to use time off.

"If employees don't get some real rest and relaxation then they won't return to work energised or ready to contribute, making them more susceptible to burn-out."

The research also revealed that many employees end up working even when they are on leave.

More than four in 10 (44%) admitted to doing some work while on holiday.

In addition, 18% of employees who took paid time off said that a colleague has contacted them about a work-related matter, and 13% said that their boss had contacted them about work.