This comes after research conducted by the body discovered that the UK has the lowest entitlement to public holidays in the whole of Europe. 

The Trades Union Congress has called on the Government to create four new bank holidays for staff in the UK.

The body found a significant disparity between the number of public holidays that EU countries receive compared to workers in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The average EU country, the research notes, receives 12.8 days of bank holidays which is around 5 days less than the average UK worker receives.

People within countries such as Romania, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Finland and Cyprus are entitled to 15 days of public holidays each.

Conversely, workers in England and Wales get just eight bank holidays a year while Northern Ireland and Scotland receive 10 and 11 respectively.

As such, the TUC has called for all UK workers to get at least 12 public holidays and is calling for a national conversation about when people would like them to be.

Many companies such as Bumble and KPMG have provided staff with more time off this year to combat chronic stress and burnout among its workforces.

Recent research also showed that around a fifth of staff in the UK are undertaking three to five hours of unpaid overtime each day, leading to concerns about the wellbeing of UK employees and an always-on culture in workplaces, especially since the shift to homeworking for many.

To accommodate all workers, the TUC has stated that extra public holidays must be reflected in statutory holiday entitlement. In addition, the body stipulates any workers required to work on public holidays should have the right to a pay premium or time off in lieu.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

The August bank holiday will be a welcome break for everyone working hard to get us through the pandemic – especially those on the frontline. But after August, there’s no national holiday until Christmas.

And that’s because the number of holidays we get is so stingy compared to other nations.

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.

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.

However, a spokesperson for the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy stressed the extra costs this would incur for the economy:

The current pattern of public and bank holidays is well established and whilst an additional bank holiday may benefit some communities and sectors, the cost to the economy of an additional bank holiday is considerable.





Monica Sharma is an English Literature graduate from the University of Warwick. As Editor for HRreview, her particular interests in HR include issues concerning diversity, employment law and wellbeing in the workplace. Alongside this, she has written for student publications in both England and Canada. Monica has also presented her academic work concerning the relationship between legal systems, sexual harassment and racism at a university conference at the University of Western Ontario, Canada.