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Bank holidays and the economy

Posted by
27 May 2014
Following the final May bank holiday of the year, I have been considering the affect that this time off has on a businesses and their employees. In 2014 there will be eight bank holidays in total and with a late Easter, four of  these days have fallen very close together in a short six week period.

While we all enjoy an extra day to relax with family or friends, it is important to consider the costs to the economy when having so many bank holidays close together.

All the research and articles that I have come across on the subject lean towards the view point that bank holidays have a negative impact on most businesses, based on the impact to workflow having such frequent interuptions.
 
Economists at the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR) say  that every bank holiday costs the UK economy £2.3bn, though the exact impact would be hard to calculate, as it isn't easy to distinguish between a genuine loss and spending that has just been delayed by a couple of days.

On the other hand, several sectors benefit from bank holidays, such as leisure, hospitality and retail, as many other workers enjoy their extra time off shopping, eating out or visiting tourist destinations. The extra holiday falling in spring enables DIY and garden projects to begin leading to an increase in sales for the DIY stores and garden centres, who often schedule additional promotions around these times.

And of course there are benefits to employees as bank holidays provide a bonus day off without using any annual holiday and a chance to come back refreshed and ready for Tuesday morning!
Tagged In: Employment, Events
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