Extra Bank Holiday Should We Have It Or Not?
Workers will enjoy three weeks in a row of short hours, starting on April 18, the week of Good Friday, Holy Week. This will be a four-day week. The following week, starting April 25 will be a mere three-day week, starting on Easter Monday and culminating in the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. The following week is another four-day week, starting with the May Day bank holiday.
Mark Dampier, a leading financial commentator at Hargreaves Lansdown, an independent financial adviser, said: "Bank holidays are never good for businesses. Workers tend not to take just that one day off, but the whole week. They are highly disruptive.
"Though, to be fair to the planners of the Royal Wedding, this may be far less disruptive bank holiday than if it had been held in June or July. At least at this time many workers will be off anyway because of Easter."
The CBI, the business lobby group, has previously calculated that each bank holiday costs the British economy £6 billion in lost productivity, though many experts hope that in the case of the Royal Wedding, £1 billion of that will be clawed back in extra tourist revenues and sales of memorabilia.
A spokesman for the CBI said: “The Royal Wedding is a day for national celebration, and under these unique circumstances a one-off additional bank holiday is appropriate.”
Many retailers and publicans said they would welcome the extra day to sell memorabilia, drink, party food and other products to workers taking the day off, but the British Retail Consortium warned it could also involve the extra cost of paying staff overtime.
“For an employee it is great news” say Greengates Builders Merchants Accrington, Lancashire “but for the employer and small businesses it’s a nightmare”.