A trade union is calling for an increase in the number of bank holidays, saying UK workers have fewer than those in other countries.
As UK workers prepare for a four-day weekend, starting with public holidays on Thursday and Friday for the Jubilee celebrations, the Trades Unions Congress (TUC) said workers deserve more breaks.
England and Wales usually get eight annual bank holidays, while Scotland and Northern Ireland typically get nine or 10 depending on the timing of New Year and their patron saint days.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: ‘It’s not fair on UK workers to get so few public holidays. They work just as hard as people in other nations who get a lot more’
As UK workers prepare for a four-day weekend, starting with public holidays on Thursday and Friday for the Jubilee celebrations, the Trades Unions Congress (TUC) said workers deserve more breaks
The TUC said that by contrast, the average number of public holidays for EU nations is 12.8 days each year.
Countries including Japan, Australia, USA and China give their workers several more public holidays than the UK, said the TUC.
The union is calling for a minimum of four additional annual bank holidays.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: ‘It’s not fair on UK workers to get so few public holidays.
‘They work just as hard as people in other nations who get a lot more.
‘The Government should put this right by increasing our bank holidays to at least 12 a year.
The TUC said that by contrast, the average number of public holidays for EU nations is 12.8 days each year and is calling for four additional bank holidays (Pictured: TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady speaks at the Labour Party Irish Society annual St Patrick’s Day celebration)
‘New bank holidays must be accounted for with an increase to the paid leave that workers are legally entitled to.
‘Otherwise, some workers will miss out, and the Government must toughen up enforcement to stop bosses cheating working people out of their holidays.’
Figures show how the UK lags the rest of Europe when it comes to public holidays as calls for an extra day off for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee continue to grow.
The statistics reveal a contrasting picture across the continent – with some workers able to put their feet up for as many as 16 times a year, while in some countries workers only enjoy eight paid days off.
The number of public holidays enjoyed by each EU nation varies greatly, with England and Wales falling behind their European counterparts with just nine public holidays in 2022.
Spain, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and Ireland are next with 10, along with Denmark, Scotland and Northern Ireland who have 11 this year.
Meanwhile, Sweden will enjoy the most public holidays among the EU nations in 2022, with employees able to enjoy 16 paid days off.
It comes as calls for a new permanent bank holiday in the UK have gathered pace and Rishi Sunak is understood to have requested formal advice from the Treasury on the costs of another annual day off.
Business leaders and MPs are said to be discussing the possibility of a ‘Thank Holiday’ – both celebrating Her Majesty’s 70 years on the throne and the dedication of millions of workers who battled on throughout the pandemic.
But Downing Street today appeared to pour cold water on the prospect of any long-term changes, after the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said a bank holiday was estimated to cost the economy £2bn.
The number of public holidays enjoyed by each EU nation varies greatly, with England and Wales falling behind their European counterparts with just nine public holidays in 2022
The map, created by mapping and analytics company Esri UK, found that the number of public holidays in England and Wales dragged well behind their European counterparts.
Sam Bark, cartographer at Esri UK said: ‘Interactive maps like this help make data more accessible in an engaging and educational way, revealing patterns and trends that would otherwise lay hidden.’
Seven countries (Austria, Romania, Lithuania, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Slovenia and Finland) trail Sweden’s high of 16 public holidays this year and have 15 of their own.
On the other end of the scale, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland and Spain enjoy the fewest within the bloc with 10 days off this year.
The EU average of public holidays sits at 12.8 days, while the USA normally has 13.
China will see 18 days of public holidays this year, while Japan will enjoy 19 paid days off.
Globally, the country with the most public holidays is Myanmar, whose workers will this year will see 30 days as paid holidays – or a whole calendar month.
Meanwhile, Switzerland’s employees will only be able to count upon five official public holidays this year – with the rest being individually determined by the country’s 25 cantons.
Supporters of the campaign to extend the June bank holiday– including Dragons’ Den star Deborah Meaden, pictured
Both Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak are said to be ‘supportive’ of a new campaign to enshrine 2022’s Platinum Jubilee as a permanent bank holiday in honour of the Queen
The news comes as bosses representing British firms have today written to Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak urging them keep the extra day off in the diary.
The Chancellor is said to be ‘supportive’ of a blossoming campaign to enshrine 2022’s Platinum Jubilee as a permanent bank holiday in honour of the Queen, reports the Telegraph.
‘The Treasury is not saying ‘no’ off the bat, despite previously being institutionally allergic to the idea of a new bank holiday.
‘Rishi is supportive of the campaign and the thought behind it and has asked for all the projected costs’, a Treasury source told the newspaper.
Experts claim the Government currently overstates the cost of public holidays and that a new one would help to boost health and productivity.
Whitehall insiders have estimated that each bank holiday costs the public purse £1.4billion.
But research by accountancy giant PwC suggests the figure is overestimated and a Monday off would cost £877million and a Friday £786million.