Union leaders are calling for three extra bank holidays for
British staff to bring them in line with the rest of Europe.
UK employees not only receive the least statutory annual
leave in Europe but have the lowest number of bank holidays as well, according
to a TUC report released today.
Banking on your holiday? reveals that British workers
enjoy eight bank holidays a year compared to 12 in Italy, 13 in Austria and up
to 14 in Spain and Portugal.
And unlike their European counterparts British workers do
not have a legal right to take bank holidays but have to rely on the generosity
of their employers.
The TUC is calling on the Government to review bank holiday
entitlement and to give British workers an extra three days every year.
It claims that the UK is bottom of the European annual
holiday league and that employees in this country are 13 days holiday worse off
on average when both statutory public holidays (those where workers have the
right by law to time off) and statutory annual leave is taken into account.
“This report shows that again British workers have been put
at the bottom of the EU pile. But they need proper time off work as much as
their European colleagues,” said TUC general secretary John Monks.
“UK workers have the shortest holidays and the lowest
productivity in Northern Europe. So offering more holidays makes sense for
employers too – happier workers are more productive.
By Paul Nelson