UK businesses joining the campaign for more Bank Holidays, say more time off could actually increase productivity, according to a new survey.
Research by Croner Consulting found that 82 per cent of HR professionals polled think that standardising the number of Bank Holidays across the European Union would increase the performance of their employees.
England and Wales have eight Bank Holidays a year, one of the lowest numbers in Europe. And they are not a statutory entitlement, meaning employers may incorporate them into an employee’s annual leave.
Italy tops the paid leave league with 16 Bank Holidays, followed by Iceland (15), Spain (14), Germany (up to 14) and France (11).
Peter Etherington, HR expert at Croner, said there was evidence that too much time at work could be contributing to occupational stress, absenteeism and lower productivity.
“The discrepancy in the number of Bank Holidays compared to other European countries can make UK workers feel hard done by,” he said. “This could be a demotivating factor affecting performance at work.”
The TUC has called on the Government to make the autumn half-term Monday one of three new Bank Holidays after almost 20,000 people backed the idea in an online poll.