To celebrate 70 years on the throne, the UK added an extra bank holiday to the calendar, bringing the total in England and Wales to nine bank holidays for 2022. While it will be great to enjoy an extra day off, some think that’s not enough and want to make the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee bank holiday an annual holiday, partly in an effort to offer small businesses a lifeline in a struggling economy.
This does not constitute advice and advice should be sought in all instances before acting on it.
Many industries affected by the pandemic such as tourism, retail, recreation, and hospitality stand to benefit the most. But do the benefits of more holidays outweigh the costs?
Increased spending vs. a loss of productivity
History and research have come to mixed conclusions on this, with a 2015 Australia analysis that suggested adding a bank holiday would be detrimental to the economy, which stands in contradiction to a 2018 UK study that found bank holidays boost small business sales. In fact, the Centre for Economics and Business Research proposes that an extra bank holiday could add a possible £500 million to the British economy through extra spending.
But the big question is to bank holidays boost the economy enough through extra spending to combat the loss of productivity by letting most workers have a day off.
While some sectors like construction or finance won’t be affected much, tourism and hospitality could experience big booms in activity. Certain areas of the country deemed as holiday spots would benefit as well, with increased tourism in their regions.
Even if you don’t take advantage of the extra time off to get away, having time away from the office could benefit your mental health anyway. With an extra day to enjoy your hobbies, relax, or get together with family and loved ones, your mood could be elevated and you’d return to work refreshed and rejuvenated, ready to work again.
Of course, businesses that have been struggling thanks to the pandemic who might ostensibly benefit, might also struggle with the burden of paying staff for not working if they shut down operations for the day. We can’t forget about the potential loss of productivity in people who take off.
We expect economists to observe the impact of the Queen’s Platinum jubilee this month and add more information for the government to consider whether or not we celebrate the day every year moving forward.