As Britain celebrates the last Bank holiday weekend of the year, union leaders are calling for an extra three Bank holidays to be brought in. Britain together with the Netherlands currently has eight Bank holidays a year, the least Bank holidays of any country in Europe. The European average is 10.8 days. Additionally many employees are forced to rely on the generosity of their employers to be able to take public holidays as time off. There is currently no statutory right for Bank holidays to be taken as time off or for employees to be paid for them.
In addition, it was discovered that many employers are flouting the law and not allowing their staff to take the statutory four weeks’ paid leave per year. Britons already work much longer hours than their European neighbours, putting their health at risk. It seems that too many employers are putting profits before the wellbeing of their staff. No wonder Britain has a much lower productivity rate than its European neighbours.
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