A study of 7,000 employees found restaurant, bar and pub staff are allowed to take up to 30 days a year but take an average of just 16.
While those working in quick food service venues can also book off 31, but only take 25.
In contrast, workers in the healthcare and medical sector book three days MORE than their 38.5 day allowance a year.
Experts analysing the data found those working in call centres also take very little holiday – just 19.5 days out of their 32-day allowance.
While at the other end of the scale, professional services employees – lawyers, accountants, consultants – take their exact entitlement.
Across all industries, the average person gets a leave allowance of 32 days (31.8) but only takes 27 (26.6), leaving a full week of time off (5.2 days) left unused each year.
The findings were published by online staff management company RotaCloud, which has created a tool allowing workers within different sectors to compare their holiday entitlement.
Pam Hinds, head of HR at RotaCloud, said: “Employees should always take their holidays but as our annual leave tool has shown, many don’t.
“Those working in hospitality in particular have had to work exceptionally hard to meet the requirements of the public over the last few years, usually doing long, antisocial hours, and covering days when many people are enjoying time off.
“While we have medical professionals who, according to our data, sometimes use more than their entitlement, and rightly so – no doubt to have rest days in order to cope with their incredibly stressful and demanding jobs.
Time off is necessary
The data found 69 per cent of workers didn’t take all their annual leave last year, with some opting to lose out on days altogether.
While a separate study of 2,000 workers, also commissioned by RotaCloud, found 43 per cent are allowed