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The UK gets significantly fewer bank holidays than most countries in Europe

The UK gets significantly fewer bank holidays than most countries in Europe

Other countries in Europe tend to get far more bank holidays than what's provided here in the UK.

Enjoying a long Christmas bank-holiday weekend? Well, if you lived in one of these countries in Europe you could enjoy an extra long weekend more often.

In fact, when compared against all the other countries situated in Europe, England and Wales are at the bottom of the list for time off given for public holidays.

Workers in England and Wales can typically expect eight bank holidays per year, with this year being an exception, due to the Queen's Platinum Jubilee on the first week of June and her funeral on 19 September bringing the total up to 10.

Brits got two extra bank holidays this year.
Richard Surman/Unsplash

We're also expected one extra bank holiday in May 2023, marking the coronation of King Charles following the Queen's passing, which will take us up to nine bank holidays in total.

Residents of Scotland are given one additional bank holiday, whereas Northern Ireland tops the UK bank holiday chart with an extra two public holidays.

However, even in spite of the additional bank holidays given this year, the UK still falls far behind its European counterparts when displayed in a league table.

Among the countries with the most generous amount of public holidays are Italy (12 days), Portugal (13 days) and Austria (13 days).

Topping the chart with a whopping two weeks of bank holidays is Malta with 14 days minimum amongst labour sectors, with some industries being given even more.


Don't worry though, we're not the only area of Europe that's considered to be lacking when it comes to bank holidays.

With a comparable public holiday allowance, Denmark (nine days), Germany (nine days) and the Netherlands (nine days) accompany the UK at the bottom of the leaderboard.

What's more, unlike the UK, most countries in Europe won't provide an extra day off to compensate if a public holiday should fall on a weekend. Also worth noting, not all workers are entitled to time off for all public holidays in countries like the Netherlands.

In a turn of events, The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has urged the UK government to increase the amount of public holidays in England and Wales to be closer to the EU average of 12.8 days to provide a well-deserved break.

Frances O’Grady, General Secretary of the TUC, 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.”

But there have been no signs we're getting any more bank holidays so far.

Featured Image Credit: IanDagnall Computing/Diana Pappas/Alamy Stock Photo