UK workers deserve more time off, says TUC

The
TUC is calling for UK workers to get an extra three days bank holiday a year.

It
says Britain’s workers get the lowest number of bank holidays and the least
statutory annual leave compared to their European counterparts, and need more.

British
workers enjoy only eight bank holidays a year compared to 12 in Italy, 13 in
Austria and up to 14 in Spain and Portugal. Britain and the Netherlands have
the least public holidays among EU countries, although Dutch workers at least
have the right to be paid for their public holidays.

According
to the TUC:


The UK is bottom of the European league on annual holidays too – combining
statutory public holidays (those where workers have the right by law to time
off) and statutory annual leave puts the UK 13 days behind the EU average.


In the UK, workers have no statutory rights to bank holidays, having to rely
instead on the generosity of their employers. While this is the case with some
of the European bank holidays, the majority are statutory days which employees
are entitled, by law, to take.


Most EU countries have a minimum standard of compensation for working on public
holidays, usually a choice of a premium rate or time off in lieu. But UK
employees don’t have this.


When it comes to holiday entitlement, British workers are better off in a
union. The average trade union member gets 29 days a year compared to 23 days
for non-union members.

TUC
General Secretary John Monks said: "UK workers have the shortest holidays
and the lowest productivity in Northern Europe. So offering more holidays makes
sense for employers too because well-rested workers are more productive.
British workers need proper time off work as much as their European colleagues
but once again they are at the bottom of the EU pile."

By Quentin Reade

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