Three in ten working parents have had to take their children on a holiday without their partner due to work pressures and school fines, according to a new study.

Nearly one in ten regularly does this, according to the survey by Nationwide Savings.

Office stresses mean that more than four-fifths (81%) of working parents find it difficult booking off the time they need for holidays.

Nearly two-thirds (61%) have to book this at least three months in advance, the study of 2,000 parents with school-age children found.

The need to stagger their leave from work with their partner to cover childcare over the holiday period leaves less time for the whole family to enjoy time off together.

It means the tradition of parents taking their children on a break together as a family is disappearing, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Overall, nearly three-quarters of working parents plan to take their break from work at a different time to their partner in order to juggle looking after their children outside of term time.

On top of the difficulty in getting time out of the office, parents face paying higher prices for holidays outside of term-time.

A quarter of parents surveyed admitted having lied to a school that their child was ill or making another excuse so they could take them on holiday during term time, when cheaper deals are available and there is less competition to book leave from work.

The Parents Want a Say campaign is urging the government to abolish the school attendance policy, saying it criminalises families for wanting to enjoy affordable holidays together.

Craig Langman from the campaign said the survey highlights the “extremely stressful” situation families face in trying to spend time together.

“Something that’s supposed to be a joyful time is turned into one of the most stressful things and people are having to take drastic measures if both partners work during the summer but they want to spend at least a bit of quality time together,” he said.

“This is about the break up of the family unit.”

A spokesman for the Department of Education said: “We are clear – children should not be taken out of school during term except in exceptional circumstances. There should be no confusion on this point.

“The evidence shows every extra day of school missed can affect a pupil’s chance of gaining good GCSEs which has a lasting effect on their life chances. While family holidays are enriching experiences, the school year is designed to give families the opportunity for these breaks without having to disrupt their children’s education.

“Unauthorised absence during term time doesn’t just have an impact on the child’s education, but also on teachers and other children.”