Saturday, 7 March 2009

Campaign for more Bank Holidays

Britain is almost unique in Europe in having no bank holidays between the summer and Christmas. There is a call in Britain for an extra three bank holidays a year, as we get the lowest number of bank holidays and the least statutory annual leave in Europe. An extra 3 would bring British workers public holiday entitlement up to the European average of 11 days.

41% of the 19,469 people who voted online in the TUC's poll favoured a Monday in late October for a new bank holiday. 32% chose the national Saints' days - St George's, St Andrew's and St David's Days and 11% voted for New Year's Eve.

An MP calls for an extra bank holiday to celebrate women’s day.

A campaign to create an additional public holiday for Great Britain surveyed over 150 MPs and found that more than half are supportive of introducing a new bank holiday with only a third of them opposing the idea. But then MPs get plent of holidays that the rest of us do not, so as usual its one rule for them, another for the rest of us.

The French have 11, Germany have 15 and the Spanish have a massive 16 days a year. Slovenia tops the table with an impressive 18 days where as Brits are struggling on with just 8.

Shopworkers union Usdaw is also calling for an extra bank holiday to promote voluntary and community work. The union has backed the Community Day campaign, by the TUC and four of the UK’s largest voluntary organisations. The holiday would fall during the October half term. John Hannett, Usdaw general secretary, said: “Most of us spend a large part of our waking lives at work. It can be easy to forget that we are part of a wider community or to find the time to make our contribution. We want to redress that balance between our members’ working lives and the rest of their lives.

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