We get eight a year, the U.S. gets ten, Spain fourteen and in Japan they get fifteen, bank holidays that is. Ours are not very well spaced out either, three round Christmas and New Year, two at Easter, two in May and one in August. February, March or April depending when Easter is, June, July, September, October and November have none at all. However if the ‘The Centre for Economics and Business Research’ get their way, we would scrap bank holidays all together. They say that the cost to the British Economy of having eight days off a year is £19bn, if we scrapped them all, we would be much better off.
Get real! If we scrapped all the bank holidays, we would all be so tired we would have to take paid sick leave more often, and what would that cost the country?
When I worked in the radio industry bank holidays were a complete pain. When you have a daily show, you know the show, you know what’s in it, you know what you have to prepare and how long that will take you. On a bank holiday you almost always presented a different show, which would mean different hours on air, different features, different preparation. You always had to work longer hours to present a show that had less listeners than usual, your regular listeners were all at B&Q. So you would work harder, for half the audience, the same money and no day off.
Now I am not encumbered by having a radio show to go to, I like having a bank holiday. In fact we all like our bank holidays, we know the weather will be windy, cold and very wet, but we will head for B&Q as we always do. We all need to have some time off and a bank holiday, meaning we only have 4 working days until the weekend, cheers us all up. So I say to ‘The Centre for Economics and Business Research’ stop acting like accountants and, as Steve Jobs would have said, think different. The bottom line does not reflect the reality of removing bank holidays all together.
I for one would welcome one more, say in the middle of September, so we can enjoy the late summer sunshine. The sun does shine in September, mainly because there are no bank holidays in it.