TUC Calls For UK To Get More Bank Holidays To Align With EU Average
With everyone kicking back to enjoy the surprisingly sunny bank holiday weather this weekend, it's only a matter of time before talk turns to when our employers will next be at the mercy of another glorious compulsory day off.
Cue the sad realistion that the late August bank holiday three-day bender is our last chance of freedom before Christmas - which, frankly, is sodding AGES away.
Well, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) is calling on the UK government to increase the number of bank holidays, in a bid to bring the nation in line with the European average.
Currently, there are eight bank holidays in England and Wales each year (give or take a few here and there, depending what's going on).
But the TUC believes there should be another statutory day off during the four-month gap between August and the festive period, giving workers the opportunity to enjoy a bit of respite.
While the EU average is 12 annual bank holidays, people in Slovakia, Slovenia, Finland and Cyprus are entitled to 15 - almost twice the number in England and Wales.
TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said: "As new technology changes our economy, the benefits should be shared by working people. That means less time at work, more time with family and friends, and decent pay for everyone.
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"But, instead, work is becoming more intense. Workers in Britain put in millions of hours of unpaid overtime every year but get fewer public holidays than their counterparts across Europe.
"Working people deserve a break and, as the days start to get shorter, we could all do with something to look forward to.
"The government should create a new public holiday between now and Christmas."
Sadly, though, it doesn't look like that dream will become a reality any time soon, as the government has said there are 'no current plans' to increase the number of bank holidays.
A business department spokesman said: "We regularly receive requests for additional bank and public holidays to commemorate a variety of occasions, such as cultural, history, military and religious events and we consider them on a case-by-case basis.
"We have no current plans to add to the well established and acknowledged bank holidays already in place, but next year's early May bank holiday will be on 8 May to ensure as many people as possible can mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day."
Featured Image Credit: PA