A bank holiday with purpose?

The graph below (click to enlarge) shows how poorly endowed the UK working population is with bank holidays:

This set me thinking -isn’t it time we encouraged voting by issuing a bank holiday every time there is a vote, so everyone is encouraged to do their democratic duty? We can see that bottom- ranking UK is not over-endowed with bank holidays. Even the USA gets around 10, usually more, as many states have their own individual holidays.It is true that both the US and the UK have the habit of substituting a nearby weekday where the holiday falls on a weekend, whereas in EU countries it tends to be tough luck. But as their holidays are way more numerous that is less of a hardship.

Even if the UK had three elections a year, which would be unusual, it would still be only on par with France and Germany – so hardly a indication of the UK shirking and slacking.

Maybe people might be encouraged to make a day of it, Australian style, with a ‘democracy sausage‘?

A bank holiday would surely ‘wake up’ local elections and might it not encourage a little more respect for democracy from both voter and government?




  1. Bill Hughes -

    Certainly worker morale would increase if public holidays were increased from 8 to 13 per annum. It is a sad reflection on the target culture of “modern management” that despite the relentless emphasis on short term profit, UK productivity is way below other G20 countries. Our workforce is overworked with absurdly long hours in some cases, stressed out of their minds and poorly paid. More holidays would help but there needs to a complete reappraisal of how UK business is run.

    1. Peter May -

      Agreed, worker productivity does not follow on from worker attendance – indeed I’m sure sometimes the reverse is true.

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