Monday, 3 January 2011

Not another one

So here I am on a Bank Holiday Monday writing a blog post. it's quite a creative way to spend my last day off and I'm feeling quite relaxed. But it does seem to have been a very long Christmas period. I suppose with Christmas Day, Boxing Dy and New Years Day all falling at the weekend and feeling like they do every year, the bank holidays being extra do feel as though we have had additional public holidays.

I saw a tweet from a well known unelected political person who supports Burnley, who said that we have too many Bank Holidays. But I disagree. In fact, in comparison to most other western countries, we do quite badly for public holidays. England and Wales have eight  regular public holidays. Northern Ireland has ten which include St Patricks Day and Orangeman's Day and Scotland has nine which includes an additional day at New Year.

Germany, for example, has between 9 and 13 depending on which state you live in and France have 12, although all but one of these is by agreement between the people and the employers.Italy also have 12 national holiday's and the regions can offer an additional 3 dates if they wish.

The United States is a different kettle of fish and the national government can only legislate holidays for those it directly employs in federal jobs. Of course, we could argue that British Bank Holidays are similar (did you go to the Boxing Day sales)? But even in these limited circumstances the USA has eleven federal holidays. And the states can add their own local holidays as well.

So why was the question asked about whether we have too many Bank Holidays. I think it is because we cluster our Bank Holidays together. we have three of our eight holidays in eight days at this time of the year. And in spring we have Good Friday, Easter Monday, May Day and Whit all within two months. 2011 will be even closer together as Easter is so late and the additional Bank Holiday for the Royal Wedding will mean five holidays in 5 weeks.

The only Bank Holiday out on a limb is the August Bank Holiday which comes at the very end of the summer. In fact, the summer months are very neglected when it comes to a recognised time off. Theoretically, the weather should be at it's best during June, July and August but we are obliged to either continue our regular duties throughout these months or take leave of our own.

I would happily see the end of one or two of the holidays at Christmas, Easter and/or May in exchange for a couple of additional ones spread through the summer period and one during the autumn as well.

So has the holiday period lasted too long? Are you keen to return to work? Would you prefer a shorter festive period and more scattered approach to national holidays? What do you think?

No comments:

Post a Comment