Forty-five per cen' />

New Zealanders are among the western world's most holiday-deprived workers, according to a survey by an online travel company.

Forty-five per cent of New Zealanders leave some of their annual holidays untaken, second only to Japan where 92 per cent fail to take, on average, almost half of their annual holidays, according to the annual global Expedia Vacation Deprivation survey.

The survey was conducted in 11 countries and included New Zealand workers for the first time this year.

New Zealanders received an average of 21 annual leave days from their employer in the past year, but took only 18 days, the survey found.

Of the surveyed countries, New Zealanders were given the fifth-fewest annual leave days by their employers.

Workers in Australia and Canada were given 19 days, Japanese workers 15 days and workers in the United States only 13 days.

Expedia, the company behind the survey, said the global financial crisis was a major cause of workers taking fewer annual leave days, with 35 per cent of New Zealand workers changing their holiday plans due to economic worries.

Half of New Zealanders said they wanted to carry over their holidays to use the following year, while a third said work commitments were too great to take a break.

France was found to be the world's most "holiday-rich" nation, with an average 38 days annual leave per year.

French workers also took the most leave each year - 36 of those days - double that of New Zealand workers.