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Additional New Year holiday gets HR vote

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Polled businesses and HR professionals have given their support to calls for an additional bank holiday in January to kick-start employee motivation in the New Year.

Over two thirds say that an extra bank holiday in January would enhance the productivity and morale of their employees.

British workers are currently entitled to four weeks paid holiday per year but this can include bank holidays of which there are only currently eight, one of the lowest in Europe.

Italy tops the league at 16 bank holidays followed by Iceland (15), Spain (14), Germany (14) and France (11).

Of the organisations polled, over 74% of HR professionals agreed that the additional bank holiday would not negatively impact their business. In comparison, 65% of small businesses suggested that they would consider the additional day a greater burden.

Richard Smith, HR expert at Croner Consulting, who conducted the research said: “It is widely reported that Britain is one of the hardest working nations in Europe. Recent government reports revealed that the number of people in employment and the total hours we are now working have reached the highest levels ever recorded.

“With longer hours often being associated with a steady increase in occupational stress, absenteeism and lower productivity, it is essential that employees are not left feeling ‘hard done by’ – only the Netherlands gives its workers as few public holidays as the UK.”

In October the Trades Union Congress made calls for an additional autumn bank holiday.

Almost 20,000 voted in the TUC’s poll on the matter with just under half (41%) preferring a Monday in late October as the new bank holiday date. Almost a third (32%) opted for St George’s, St Andrew’s and St David’s Days, and just over one in ten (11%) for New Year’s Eve.

Related articles:

TUC makes fresh call for an autumn bank holiday
Editor’s Comment: Are more bank holidays the answer?

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Annie Hayes

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