Workers in England being fobbed off with a “stingy” number of bank holidays, say unions

Politics / Mon 30th Aug 2021 at 10:28am

WORKERS in England and Wales are being fobbed off with a “stingy” number of bank holidays, say trades unions reports the BBC.

They get eight public holidays a year, which is four fewer than the EU average and half the number in Japan.

The umbrella body for unions, the TUC, is calling for a new public holiday between September and Christmas.

It would be “a great way to thank working Britain for getting us through these tough times,” TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said.

“The August Bank Holiday will be a welcome break for everyone working hard to get us through the pandemic – especially those on the front line,” said Ms O’Grady.

“But after August, there’s no national holiday until Christmas. And that’s because the number of holidays we get is so stingy compared to other nations.”

A spokesman for the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy said: “The current pattern of public and bank holidays is well established and whilst an additional bank holiday may benefit some communities and sectors, the cost to the economy of an additional bank holiday is considerable.”

According to the TUC every EU-member is more generous than the UK when it comes to public holidays.

Several countries including Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Finland give 15 days off. The EU average is 12.8 days a year, the TUC said.

Japan’s workers enjoy 17 days off a year but New Zealanders only get 11. 

The TUC says all UK workers should get at least 12 public holidays and is calling for a wider debate on the issue.

“It’s time for a national conversation – when should our new holidays be? What might they celebrate?” added Ms O’Grady. 

“An autumn holiday to break the long stretch to Christmas would be a good start.” 

Those who have to work on bank holidays are entitled to be paid a premium or receive time off in lieu, the TUC said.

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3 Comments for Workers in England being fobbed off with a “stingy” number of bank holidays, say unions:

2021-08-30 10:53:53

I have been aware of this from when I started work 40 years ago. We didn't get new years day off until 1974 when Scotland had always had it as a public holiday then to keep Scotland ahead they were given January 2nd off from 1974. So much for a "United" Kingdom.

2021-08-30 11:30:18

many firms dont even pay premium rates for bank holidays just flat pay including the one i work for, couldnt care less about bank holidays just another day for me, premium pay for bank holidays has been eroded just to make fat cats richer

2021-08-30 14:42:00

My husband and his work colleagues have every bank Hoilday off but they have to work the Saturday so what’s the point of these so called bank holidays waste of time

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