Business banking on extra New Year break

More than two-thirds of UK businesses agree an additional January Bank Holiday is the right way to start the new business year.

Companies are strongly backing a campaign for an additional ‘New Year’ public holiday, according to a new survey by Croner Consulting.

Seventy-two percent of businesses which responded to Croner’s online poll said that adding an extra Bank Holiday to the beginning of the calendar year would enhance the productivity and morale of their employees.

Britons currently have only eight bank holidays a year, one of the lowest entitlements in Europe. Italy tops the league with 16 bank holidays followed by Iceland (15), Spain and Germany (14 each), and France (11).

British employers may also incorporate them into an employee’s minimum annual leave entitlement of four weeks. Only The Netherlands gives its workers as few public holidays as the UK

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

Richard Smith, HR expert at Croner Consulting, said recent government reports had revealed that the number of people in employment and the total hours Britons were 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’,” he said.

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