The idea is not to add another bank holiday, but scrap the current May Day Bank Holiday and to replace it with a new October Bank Holiday, provisionally named UK Day or Trafalgar Day.
The May Day holiday dates originally back to around the 4th Century, and is celebrated in many countries, not just those in the UK. The idea of scrapping it to replace it with a differently dated holiday is a controversial one and has caused much discussion.
As the May Bank Holiday is such an established holiday, many businesses currently arrange work to fit around this date. They argue that adjusting a recognised holiday may cause unnecessary problems. For example, scrapping it may affect employees, who often try to make use of the long weekend, and also affect employers who often schedule work around April. Businesses would then have to re-arrange their schedules to try to work around October.
Other people have questioned why it would be necessary to create a brand new Bank Holiday occasion when other well established occasions are often overlooked.
The Queen’s birthday is not an official UK Bank Holiday in the UK, but it is a recognised holiday in Australia. St. Georges day is also not a Bank Holiday in England, whereas St. Andrews Day and St. Patricks Day are official Bank Holidays in Scotland and Ireland respectively.
There are already two extra Bank Holidays scheduled over the next two years. 2011 sees an extra Bank Holiday for the Royal Wedding, and 2012 sees another extra Bank Holiday to mark the Royal Jubilee. The introduction of a new permanent Bank Holiday, to mark UK Day, could come into effect the year after the extra Bank Holidays, in 2013.
TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said, “There is strong support for an extra public holiday as the UK has the stingiest allocation in Europe, but the last thing we need is for the government to mess around with established bank holidays that workers and businesses have built their schedules around.”
For more information on the extra Bank Holidays in 2011 and 2012, please check out our related article - http://www.payepeople.co.uk/
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