TUC launches search for new public holiday

The TUC has launched a national search for a
new bank holiday to make up for the fact Britons get fewer public holidays than
any other country in the European Union.

It is asking people to vote for their ‘Bank
Holiday Idol’ and has put forward to following dates for consideration:

• The national saints days of England, Scotland
and Wales (April 23, November 30 and March 1)

• A Monday in October, breaking up the long gap
between the August bank holiday and Christmas (at the same time as children
take their half term holiday)

• New Year’s Eve

• A guaranteed extra day, but different each
year (to allow particular celebrations such as the 60th anniversary of the end
of the Second World War in 2005).

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said:
"We work the longest hours, and have the fewest public holidays. It’s
about time we caught up with the rest of Europe in the holiday stakes.

"Indeed, it is very hard to see why people
in England, Scotland and Wales should have two fewer days than Northern
Ireland," he said.

"But there are lots of good candidates for
when we should take the extra time off, so we are asking people to help us
choose in our Bank Holiday Idol vote (see www.worksmart.org.uk/holiday)."

Public holidays across Europe(days)

• Slovakia 18 

• Cyprus  16 

• Malta 14 

• Slovenia 13 

• Austria 13 

• Hungary 13 

• Portugal 12-14 

• Spain 12-14 

• Czech Republic 12 

• Finland 12 

• Lithuania 12 

• Italy 12 

• Sweden 11 

• France 11 

• Latvia  11 

• Greece 10-12 

• Poland 10 

• Belgium 10 

• Northern Ireland 10 

• Luxembourg 10 

• Germany 9-12 

• Denmark 9.5 

• Estonia  9 

• Ireland 9 

• The Netherlands (but gives more than EU holiday minimum)

• UK 8 

All EU average 11.35 

Quentin Reade

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