Why is everyone on about the new bank holiday like it’s a bad thing? The moment Britain Day was proposed, people met it with hilarity and disbelief.
Britain Day? Celebrating contribution? Volunteering? The government cannot be serious – the UK is into binge drinking, yob culture and reality TV, they said.
But what we all seem to be forgetting is this: whatever the reason officially announced by ministers a few weeks ago, whatever the government jargon over contribution to society, whatever the political motivation behind this – WHO CARES? I don’t. All I know is that we’ve got the chance of another day off – preferably with a drink, with friends, and watching TV.
So don’t spoil it. The UK is already notoriously bad at bank holidays, with a measly eight per year – half as many as Italy and way below the EU average.
In fact, we are second bottom in the European bank holiday league, with only The Netherlands having fewer days (seven). So why are we so busy trying to talk ourselves out of another one?
Working in HR, I know only too well that UK employees work far longer than those in any other country in Europe, and hours, stress and depression have been rising for many people over the past 10 years.
Most of us find it hard to achieve a satisfactory work- life balance – and long hours have reduced the amount of voluntary work we get involved with.
So please, it makes business and personal sense to stand up for another day off – not ridicule it.