In a policy paper, the government have outlined the possible scrapping of the May Day bank holiday, replacing it with a bank holiday on St George’s Day in April or on Trafalgar Day in October.
The government believe either day would benefit UK tourism, with St George’s day beginning the tourism season early and Trafalgar Day extending it. It would also mean that bank holidays would be more staggered, and with the winter months having somewhat of a drought of national holidays, it may be a welcome move for businesses who can suffer from a sudden stream of holidays in spring. However, a change in national holidays could cause employers to be face with unwanted disruption, new regulations and red tape.
The government believe a “national day” should be created in favour of celebrating May Day, a celebration that dates back to 4th century, instead having St George’s Day on April 23rd in England and St David’s day in Wales on March 1st.
The possible May Day move has its critics, with the Trade Union Congress saying firms had built schedules around already established national holidays.
There had also been talks about UK clocks being brought into line with Europe’s with an idea for a “double summer time”. This would mean during winter, clocks would be an hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time and then an hour further in the summer. It would mean lighter nights but much darker mornings.
However, these guidelines were not included in the policy paper, which may have something to do with people in Scotland opposing the idea saying the move would see northern-most areas without daylight until 10am.
If the government begin to move national holidays it will mean that planned schedules within companies could be disrupted and more red tape will be created for employers. Something businesses continue to fight against.
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