Posted: Mon 29th Aug 2022

Calls for more bank holidays to reward “nation of grafters”

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Monday, Aug 29th, 2022

There are calls for the UK government to create four new public holidays as workers enjoy the last long weekend of the summer.

UK workers have fewer public holidays than other countries and worked £27 billion pounds of unpaid overtime last year.

But they have been attacked by Liz Truss for ‘lacking application’ – a claim backed by Jacob Rees-Mogg who said that her comments ‘reflect an unfortunate reality in much of the British state’.

The TUC is calling on UK government to recognise the low number of holidays UK workers get compared to other nations, and to show gratitude for grafters by levelling up our holidays with neighbouring workers in the EU.

England and Wales usually get 8 annual bank holidays, while Scotland and Northern Ireland typically get either 9 or 10 depending on the timing of New Year and their patron saint days.

However, this year the whole of the UK got an additional holiday for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

The EU average is 12.3 days, which is over 4 days more than UK workers get in a typical year.

Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Finland and Cyprus top the EU table, with 15 days each – nearly twice as many public holidays as workers in England and Wales.

Beyond Europe, workers in other major economies get more public holidays too. This year there are 16 public holidays in Japan, 12 in Australia and 11 in China and New Zealand.

The TUC says all UK workers should get at least 12 public holidays and is calling for a national conversation about when people would like them to be.

To make sure that no workers miss out, the union body says extra public holidays must be reflected in statutory holiday entitlement. And any workers required to work on public holidays should have the right to a pay premium or time off in lieu.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Some politicians have been calling UK workers lazy. But we work some of the longest hours in Europe. And we get the fewest public holidays.

“After today, there are no more public holidays until Christmas. Instead of insulting workers, let’s show more gratitude to our nation of grafters. They should get the same number of public holidays as other countries get.

“It’s time for a national conversation – when should our new holidays be, and what might they celebrate?”

– Public holidays in the EU

Country Days Country Days Country Days
Austria

13

France

11

Malta

14

Belgium

12

Germany

12

Netherlands

11

Bulgaria

14

Greece

12

Poland

13

Croatia

14

Hungary

11

Portugal

13

Cyprus

14

Ireland

9

Romania

15

Czech Republic

13

Italy

10

Slovakia

15

Denmark

12

Latvia

12

Slovenia

15

Estonia

13

Lithuania

12

Spain

13

Finland*

15

Luxembourg

12

Sweden

13

Average 

12.3

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