Union wants at least four extra bank holidays to give workers more breaks

·2-min read

A union is calling for an increase in the number of bank holidays, saying UK workers have fewer than those in other countries.

As UK workers prepare for a four-day weekend, starting with public holidays on Thursday and Friday for the Jubilee celebrations, the TUC said workers deserve more breaks.

England and Wales usually get eight annual bank holidays, while Scotland and Northern Ireland typically get nine or 10 depending on the timing of New Year and their patron saint days.

The TUC said that by contrast, the average number of public holidays for EU nations is 12.8 days each year.

Countries including Japan, Australia, USA and China give their workers several more public holidays than the UK, said the TUC.

The union is calling for a minimum of four additional annual bank holidays.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “It’s not fair on UK workers to get so few public holidays.

“They work just as hard as people in other nations who get a lot more.

“The Government should put this right by increasing our bank holidays to at least 12 a year.

“New bank holidays must be accounted for with an increase to the paid leave that workers are legally entitled to.

“Otherwise, some workers will miss out, and the Government must toughen up enforcement to stop bosses cheating working people out of their holidays.”

A Government spokesperson said: “The Government is determined to make work pay and in April we increased the National Living Wage to £9.50, the largest ever increase since its introduction in 2016. Thanks to the action we’ve taken, unemployment continues to fall and there are more employees on payrolls than ever before.

“Through our £37 billion support package we are also saving the typical employee over £330 a year through a tax cut in July and allowing people on Universal Credit to keep £1,000 more of what they earn”.

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