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Calls for four new bank holidays in the UK

Claire Reid

Published 
| Last updated 

Calls for four new bank holidays in the UK

The UK government is being urged to introduce four more bank holidays to reward a ‘nation of grafters’. 

Folks in England and Wales usually get eight bank holidays per year while Scotland has nine or 10, which is lower than other European countries where the average is more than 12, with some countries getting as many as 15.

The Trades Union Congress is now calling for a ‘national conversation’ about when the holidays could be held and what they could be used to mark.

The trade union also claimed figures suggested the Brits worked a whopping £27 billion in unpaid overtime last year, slamming suggestions that UK workers are 'lazy'.

Credit: www.pqpictures.co.uk / Alamy Stock Photo
Credit: www.pqpictures.co.uk / Alamy Stock Photo

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?”

The UK did have an extra bank holiday this year to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in June, but the Government rejected calls for an additional bank holiday to celebrate England’s Lionesses’ football team winning Euro 2022. 

Labour leader Keir Starmer threw his support behind an additional holiday to mark the occasion, telling the Mirror: “The whole country will be roaring on the Lionesses in the final on Sunday.

Brits had an extra bank holiday this year to mark the Queen's Platinum Jubilee. Credit: Simon Dack News / Alamy Stock Photo
Brits had an extra bank holiday this year to mark the Queen's Platinum Jubilee. Credit: Simon Dack News / Alamy Stock Photo

"They have already done us proud, but if they win it will be a truly historic achievement – one that should be marked with a proper day of celebration, where clubs can open and promote access for women and girls.”

Former Sports Minister Tracey Crouch also supported the idea, telling the publication: “The Lionesses have already made the nation so proud, blazing a trail for women’s football everywhere.

"If we win on Sunday, let’s give everyone a chance to celebrate with a special bank holiday as we said we would for the men. It’s coming home!”

However, although Prime Minister Boris Johnson congratulated the winners, he stopped short of announcing a bank holiday. 

At the time, the Government said: “The current pattern of public and bank holidays is well established and while an additional holiday may benefit some, the cost to the economy is considerable.”

Featured Image Credit: Celia McMahon / Diana Pappas / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: UK News, Politics

Claire Reid
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