‘Show gratitude to our nation of grafters’ by creating four new bank holidays in the UK

Politics

Four new bank holidays should be created in the UK to reward a “nation of grafters”, according to a union.

Workers in England and Wales typically get eight bank holidays a year – but some European countries have 15, almost twice as much.

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) is calling for a “national conservation” on when new public holidays should be held, and what they should celebrate.

And the union condemned Conservative leadership frontrunner Liz Truss for claiming that British workers “lack application” given how figures suggest they worked £27bn in unpaid overtime last year.

“Some politicians have been calling UK workers lazy. But we work some of the longest hours in Europe. And we get the fewest public holidays,” TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said.

“After today, there are no more public holidays until Christmas. Instead of insulting workers, let’s show more gratitude to our nation of grafters. They should get the same number of public holidays as other countries get.”

There are usually eight annual bank holidays for workers in England and Wales, while those in Scotland normally get nine or ten – depending on the timing of New Year and patron saint days.

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Across the EU, the average stands at 12.3 bank holidays a year. Finland and Romania get 15, while workers in Japan have 16 public holidays in total.

The UK did get an additional bank holiday this year to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

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