Sunday, 23 April 2017

More Bank Holidays - Nice Idea but it highlights establishment ignorance

The Labour Party's proposal to throw in an extra 4 Bank Holidays is a nice idea but it really does highlight the disconnect between those in power and the ordinary people they want to vote for them.

Nowadays, for thousands, a Bank Holiday is just another day in the working week. This is especially true for people in low paid work such as social care, catering or retail. Where others may receive enhanced rates of pay for working the Bank Holiday there is no such benefit for the low paid who receive their minimum wage.

A second reason why this is proposal which is disconnected from the reality of ordinary people is the idea that these Bank Holidays should coincide with the national saints days.

With the exception of St. Andrews Day these all fall in an 8 week period, in this period there are also the two Easter Bank Holidays and, a week after St Georges Day we would have the May Day Bank Holiday! So, in 9 weeks or so, there would be 6 Bank Holidays.

Now, while this may be nice, for the many who have to work on Bank Holidays, there is the additional burden of having to find child care while teachers enjoy their extra days off!

Only the Easter Bank holidays could be guaranteed to actually fall in the school holidays every year and those who need to work, particularly those in low paid jobs face extra costs or loss of earnings.

Surely it would much better to simply promise an increase the the number of statutory holiday entitlement for all workers, so that the time off could be taken at a time convenient for individual workers. It would be a policy headline that would resonate more with those the Labour Party needs to win back and show a greater connection with the reality of the life of the lower paid in the UK nowadays. 

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