Why Campaigners Are Calling For An Annual 'Thank Holiday' Day Off

Businesses are calling for the extra bank holiday to be made permanent.
creacart via Getty Images/iStockphoto

Business leaders have asked the prime minister to make this year’s extra bank holiday permanent. And after the last two years, we think we deserve some celebrations.

This year, Brits will enjoy a four-day weekend in June to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The usual late May bank holiday has been moved to Thursday June 2 and an additional bank holiday has been added on Friday June 3.

Now, campaigners have argued that a permanent extra bank holiday would provide an economic boost after Covid, as well as a boost in moral.

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI), UK Hospitality and several other well-known brands have written an open later stating that a “thank holiday” would honour the monarch’s long service, as well as people’s efforts to support their communities, especially during the pandemic.

Those involved include the bosses of Siemens, Iceland and Punch Pubs and the chairman of the Campaign for Real Ale, as well as investor and entrepreneur Deborah Meaden, who is leading the campaign. TUC as well as the Royal Voluntary Service also support the campaign.

The signatories said in an open letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak that making the bank holiday permanent would “provide a moment every year for individuals and communities to come together, to thank those who have contributed in ways big and small to making our country a better place to live”.

Research from audit firm PwC commissioned for the campaign found that government figures have previously overestimated the potential cost of a new bank holiday by 64%. The consultancy found that the cost would roughly sit at about £831m.

More research found that social positives may have been missed out and that sectors such as retail and hospitality which were affected badly during the pandemic would benefit from the extra bank holiday.

Additionally, findings highlighted that any knock-on costs would be decrease if the new bank holiday is on a Friday, due to how people’s working hours tend to fall in a typical week.

Currently, England and Wales have eight bank holidays annually whilst countries in the European Union have an average of 11.

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UK Hospitality, said that the hospitality sector would be “ready to embrace this important tribute”, but opening hours may be limited during a new bank holiday and businesses might need to find additional staffing cover.

An extra day off? We’re all for it.