Campaigners Want Us To Have Four More Bank Holidays A Year

Photographed by Meg O'Donnell
We hate to break it to you, but Monday past (29th August) was the last bank holiday until Christmas – yes, really.
Workers in England and Wales typically get eight or nine public holidays a year, while workers in Scotland get nine or 10, depending on when New Year falls in the calendar. Workers in Northern Ireland typically get nine or 10, too.
This puts us well behind workers in Japan, who get 17 public holidays a year, and workers in Australia, who get 12. Across the EU as a whole, the average is 12.8 public holidays a year.
For this reason, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) is calling on the government to introduce four new bank holidays so that everyone in the UK is entitled to 12 a year. This would put us on a level playing field, or at least close to one, with workers in Europe.
"The number of holidays we get is so stingy compared to other nations," said the TUC's General Secretary Frances O'Grady. "A few more public holidays would be a great way to thank working Britain for getting us through these tough times. And it would level us up with other workers around the world."
O'Grady added: "It’s time for a national conversation – when should our new holidays be? What might they celebrate? An autumn holiday to break the long stretch to Christmas would be a good start."
Many of us will be questioning our work-life balance even more intently as the cost of living crisis intensifies and rents become ever more unaffordable. It's worth bearing in mind that by not taking your full lunch break, you're not only missing out on a chance to decompress, but also doing as much as 17 days of unpaid work each year.
It's also worth getting ahead by planning your annual leave for 2023. By taking off four strategic days in April, for example, you can give yourself a blissful four-day break. You know you deserve it.