The Government is reportedly drawing up plans to create an extra bank holiday as part of its manifesto strategy to help to improve people’s work-life balance.
Downing Street policy advisers believe a ninth bank holiday could be significant in encouraging working parents to spend more time with their children, according to the Sunday Times.
The gesture is likely to cost business £1.5bn in lost productivity, estimates by the employers body the CBI suggest, as most employers would be obliged to pay workers for the day.
Policy advisers believe the best time for the new holiday would be in the autumn to alleviate the period of 117 days between the August Bank Holiday and Christmas.
Dates that could imbue the next holiday with a historical significance include Trafalgar Day on 21 October and Armistice Day on 11 November.
Trade unions have been campaigning for more public holidays to bring Britain into line with other European Union countries, which average 11 a year, compared with eight in England, Scotland and Wales and 10 in Northern Ireland.