Is it a good idea to have more Bank Holidays?

Posted on Friday, April 28, 2017 by Nadio GranataNo comments



To set the scene … it’s Friday 28th April and I am writing this whilst working from home, on my laptop, listening to my ‘holiday playlist’ on spotify with one eye on the clock as my print deadline looms early due to the forthcoming Bank Holiday weekend. Are Bank Holidays a good thing? Should we have more?

From Stafflex’s perspective, a Huddersfield recruitment agency that specialises in temporary recruitment … then Bank Holidays are marginally favourable. They require our clients to plan their workflow differently … and that generally, though not always, means that they require a flexible approach to their recruitment needs and therefore access to temporary staff. Boom time.

From the employer’s point of view, and I was once an employer for over 20 years … it can be something of a nightmare. Speaking entirely from personal experience, I still bear the mental scars of planning the Bank Holiday staff rota sessions when I used to spend hours trying to juggle with the needs of my 30-odd (that’s ‘more than 30, not 30 ‘odd’ as in ‘strange’ … many of them will be reading this!’) staff’s requirements whilst try to guess how much busier or quieter our catering business would be over the holiday period.

All the best planning in the world could not guarantee the right weather, or sort out the congestion on the roads or prevent mystery Bank Holiday illnesses reoccuring just at the time when you needed reliability. Bank Holidays were an absolute nightmare.

Wind forward some twenty years and we now have a suggestion by the current Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, pledging to increase the number of Bank Holidays in the UK by four more to take the total to 12. These would be made up of the four Patron Saints Days for England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. A brief google search instantly suggests Corbyn may be best advised to reconsider this manifesto pledge if he is to win over the votes of the leaders of industry. A closer scrutiny of the idea reveals further doubt about the net benefits of this concept when you consider the timings of these Saint’s days combined with the predictably unpredictable British weather. Family holidays are precious, we can all agree to that, but when spent indoors on soggy autumnal days, celebrating the life of a Patron Saint of a country desperate for its independence, it’s difficult to see how St Andrew’s Day on 30th November will go down south of the border.  

Life has changed. Flexible working is here to stay. Holidays are vitally important to recharge the batteries. But they are not always best when taken en-masse thereby bringing a nation to a standstill.

Whatever you are doing, wherever you are … enjoy your holidays!
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