Call for more time at the beach

Ailing UK tourism firms
should back a Fabian Society plan to increase the number of bank holidays – it
may be more effective at enticing punters than sea side photo opportunities
with government ministers.

The left-of-centre think-tank
is urging the Government to promise an extra four bank holidays a year in its
election manifesto.

Michael Jacobs,
general secretary of the society, is calling for the UK to be brought up to the
European average of 12 bank holidays a year. The UK has eight bank holidays –
fewer than any other country in Europe, with the exception of the Netherlands.
Italy tops the charts with 16.

Jacobs said,
"Employees in the UK work the longest hours of any country in Europe,
leading to high levels of stress and depression, and other forms of ill health.

"By giving
employees more time for recuperation from work, an extra bank holiday is likely
to make them more productive."

A Government
spokesperson said, "We cannot speculate on what will be in the manifesto."

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