Do we get Bank Holidays right?

17
399

As the UK slides unto another long weekend of days off in the rain and traffic jams headed for the coasts, attention turns once again to the question of whether we do this right. 

The aim was laudable enough.  When John Lubbock, himself a banker, introduced the Bank Holiday Bill in 1871, the aim was to add statutory holidays.  If banks were closed and no financial transactions could take place, other workers would also gain a day off.  On the whole, Lubbock did better at introducing holidays than he did in teaching his poodle to read.  But the problem is that they come thick and fast in the first half of the year, but are widely spaced thereafter.

By the time we add Good Friday and Easter Monday (technically public holidays rather than bank holidays) to the early and late May holidays, business is regularly disrupted to little good effect.  After the August holiday, there is a desert until Boxing Day on December 26th.  There is a case for moving the workers’ Mayday holiday to October 26th, Trafalgar Day.  Socialist countries celebrate Spring with its planting and its promise; more cautious capitalist ones have their Labour Day in Autumn, when the harvest is in.

Some say there should be no statutory holidays at all, and that workers and employers should fix these between them.  Some look enviously at the EU average of 10.8 days off compared with the UK’s measly 8 days, and suggest adding an extra one.  The day when the UK voted to take back control, June 23rd, suggests itself as a national Independence Day.  Certainly, something should be done to sort out the mess.,

Subscribe to The CT Mailer!

17
Leave a Reply

Please Login to comment
15 Comment threads
2 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
14 Comment authors
Nautical NickNDReaderLtwSpikebloke in spain Recent comment authors

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Gamecock
Guest
Gamecock

‘By the time we add Good Friday and Easter Monday (technically public holidays rather than bank holidays)’

In the U.S., banks cannot be closed for more than 3 days in a row. British banks close for 4 days at Easter?

SadButMadLad
Member
SadButMadLad

What about those of us who like their jobs and loving working. Why should I be forced to take a holiday when I would prefer to be doing the things I like to do. My rights are being denied!

Bongo
Member
Bongo

That nice man Jeremy Corbyn thinks we should have 4 more bank holidays. I notice research from Von Essen has found that “Developed economies have an average of 12 national public holidays compared to emerging markets had an average of 14.” Correlation isn’t causation of course, but if we take the Corbyn route we are more likely to become an emerging economy, so I’d prefer us to drop a couple now just in case. The Von Essen analysis also found that total holidays for UK workers were about the same as for workers in countries with more public holiday dates… Read more »

dearieme
Guest
dearieme

They order these matters better in Scotland. I remember with particular pleasure lecturing to undergraduates on an Easter Monday.

Spike
Member

“Some say there should be no statutory holidays at all. Aye; this hardly needs to be decided as a nation. And it would alleviate the said traffic jams to the beach if it were not.

Bloke on M4
Member
Bloke on M4

They were created when we still had a highly structured society based around large enterprises of factories and agriculture. And in that setting, they make sense. They work. Why do factories have tea breaks? Because you can’t have a bloke who fixes the axles going off for a piss, leaving the wheel man waiting. It makes sense to stop the line and have everyone going off for a piss together. The only ones I’d consider keeping are Xmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day just because they’re highly observed traditions that almost everyone wants (even non-Christians) and they’re social,… Read more »

bloke in spain
Member
bloke in spain

Trafalgar Day would be beyond delicious. A thumb in the eye for both the Frogs & the Dagos. Let there be parades!

Spike
Member

We in the US don’t do federal holidays right either. We went from marking the actual birthdays of two key presidents, to marking the nearest Monday for the sole sale of creating long weekends, to a vague “Presidents Day” (all hail Wilson and Carter!) and a matching Martin Luther King Day, because y’see the blacks can’t share our heritage because it is white. We don’t need to decide as-a-nation which days everyone knocks off from work, nor even whom we esteem, whom in any case no one studies on their Day. I’d keep Independence Day, and ditch the parades and… Read more »

Tim Newman
Member

Nigeria was best for holidays. All the Christian holidays, all the Muslim holidays, plus all the nationalistic and Marxist crap the developing world loves. France is good too: May is basically a month off, with everyone taking the “pont”.

jgh
Member
jgh

The Monday after the last Sunday in October. Almost universally half term week, and the day after changing the clocks, and midway between August and Christmas.

Nautical Nick
Member
Nautical Nick

It might coincide with half term, but the weather is often rainy and cold. Not much use having a day off past the end of September IMO. And while we are at it, can we stay on BST all the year round?

BniC
Member
BniC

We now have family day, but it’s in February, evens the days out,but not exactly a great time. I’ve seen the suggestion that the ski resorts campaigned for it.
There is calls Aboriginal/First Nations day to be a recognised holiday, that’s held on the solstice so that would be a good one to add, though as I get the day off already I do like it’s a good day to go and hike and have a quieter day

Pcar
Guest
Pcar

Battle Of Britain Day (15 September) is imho preferable to Trafalgar Day (21 October) – more chance of better warmer weather.

Agree with dropping most and adding to work holiday quota, although my keep preference is Christmas, Boxing & New Year Day plus Easter Monday.

bloke in spain
Member
bloke in spain

@TN
Fucking Ascension Day? Stuck in a small town in SW France with one gas station, unattended. Wouldn’t accept any plastic offered. And the nearest for-sure fuel a 30km drive to & 25km up the peage. And about a pint in the tank. Fucking Ascension Day.

Spike
Member

Has always been my favorite third-world country.

Ltw
Guest
Ltw

Victoria, Aust is reaching the point of insanity https://publicholidays.com.au/victoria/2018-dates/ 13 public holidays all up. Two of those are the amusingly named “Day following Good Friday” and Easter Sunday. These have nothing to do with a day off, they were simply gazetted as public holidays so that weekend workers got their penalty rates too. Two more are for sporting events, the latest being the ridiculous “AFL Grand Final Friday”, ostensibly introduced a few years ago to allow people to take the kiddies to the Grand Final parade held the day before the game. In reality it’s mostly there to fill the… Read more »

NDReader
Member
NDReader

compared with the UK’s measly 8 days
Northern Ireland gets St. Patrick’s day (Bank Holiday), and 12th July (Public Holiday).
If you think Trafalgar day would be a nice wind-up, think of the excitement we have on the 12th July.