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30th Aug 2021

UK should get four more bank holidays a year, says TUC

Trade unions are claiming England and Wales are being given a 'stingy' number of Bank Holidays, and believe UK workers should get four more per year

Reuben Pinder

Sounds good to us

Workers in England and Wales should get four more bank holidays a year, trade unions are claiming.

Scotland have slightly different bank holidays to England, Wales and Northern Ireland, with their summer bank holiday coming at the start of August rather than this weekend.

Frances O’Grady, the general secretary for the umbrella body for trade unions in the UK (The TUC), believes a new public holiday between September and Christmas would be “a great way to thank working Britain for getting us through these tough times.”

“The August Bank Holiday will be a welcome break for everyone working hard to get us through the pandemic – especially those on the front line,” said Ms O’Grady.

“But after August, there’s no national holiday until Christmas. And that’s because the number of holidays we get is so stingy compared to other nations.”

Workers in Scotland enjoy nine public holidays a year – one more than England and Wales – while those in Northern Ireland get 10.

But the EU average is 12, while in Japan workers are given 17 public holidays every calendar year.

The TUC says we should all get at least 12 days off a year, and those made to work on bank holidays should receive a different day off in lieu.

“It’s time for a national conversation – when should our new holidays be? What might they celebrate?” O’Grady added.

“An autumn holiday to break the long stretch to Christmas would be a good start.”

There would obviously be a cost to weigh up against additional bank holidays, but it would surely be a universally popular policy.

Are you listening, Keir?