/ Is August Bank Holiday worth it?

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mypyrex - on 27 Aug 2013
Coming back from the Carneddau yesterday I was caught up, thankfully only for about fifteen minutes, in the predictable build up of traffic on the A55. It got me thinking; there must be a better solution to giving people a day off from work which results in sheep like queues to get home on the last Monday in August.

Instead of having a single fixed day as a "Summer" bank holiday, why not bring in legislation under which employers are obliged to allow employees one day's holiday over and above their annual leave allowance which can/must be taken at any time between, say, the beginning of July and the end of August?

Surely this would alleviate things like traffic and public transport congestion.
ByEek - on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to mypyrex: Companies do offer this flexibility. It is called annual leave. Of course if you are cunning, there are a zillion and one lovely places to go where everyone else isn't.
The New NickB - on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to mypyrex:

As a retired person, who can go for a walk any time they like, you choose to go on a Bank Holiday Monday. Then choose to criticize those that are doing the same, but without the option of going every other day of the week. Classy.
MG - on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to The New NickB: Agreed, although his general point stands I think. Simply giving people an extra day off would help prevent congestion, not result in "gaps" in services like the post and for many employers and employees give welcome flexibility. I actually have this arrangement now, with just Christmas and New Year as "bank holidays" where everything shuts.
Cuthbert on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to mypyrex:

Just come to the Highlands. Better and bigger hills, less people and little congestion. ;-)
mypyrex - on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to The New NickB: My post was not intended as a criticism but as a suggestion. At least MG saw my point and gave a reasoned response.
tony on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to mypyrex)
>
> Just come to the Highlands. Better and bigger hills, less people and little congestion. ;-)

And different Bank Holidays.
IainRUK - on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to mypyrex: In Scotland do they still holiday at different times? I thought the different cities had slightly different holiday weekends?
mypyrex - on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to IainRUK: Don't know.
The Lemming - on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to mypyrex)
>
> Just come to the Highlands. Better and bigger hills, less people and little congestion. ;-)

That is until you return back to Englandsshire's motorway system and get snarled up in traffic.
Cuthbert on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to IainRUK:

There was a bank holiday yesterday and I noted no change in traffic levels. Now that the schools are back traffic has changed in the morning in particular.
Sherlock - on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
Different regions,often different holidays,yes you're right.
malky_c - on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to IainRUK: They do. I lose track of when the actual holidays are, as I work for a company who have offices all over the UK. Lots of banks and public services don't actually shut on the local bank holidays either, but stick to English ones instead (so it seems anyway). Result is what mypyrex is suggesting to some extent.

Plus I just get my bank holidays as extra leave, and take them whenever I want. Seems like a sensible arrangement to me.
Blue Straggler - on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to mypyrex:
> (In reply to The New NickB) My post was not intended as a criticism

You implied that people were "sheep" for committing the crime of queuing. What were they meant to do, have a car on sprung stilts like Professor Pat Pending off Wacky Races?
Dax H - on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to mypyrex: Though the extra flexibility would be of benefit to my buisiness and employees I like the system as it is.
An extra days holiday would just get tacked on to annual leave and effectively be lost.
There is something special about most people being off at the same time.
People plan group days out and have bbq's and what not without all the hassle of people having to book exactly the same day off.
It also means that 95% of my customers don't hassle me because they are shut too.
knighty - on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to mypyrex:

Get a motorbike. Easy and quick overtaking, and when you reach a queue you can filter right past!
Carolyn - on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> In Scotland do they still holiday at different times? I thought the different cities had slightly different holiday weekends?

I thought Scotland didn't have the August BH (their school summer hols start and finish a couple of weeks before England/Wales, so schools are back by then), but gets 2nd Jan as a BH.

Not sure about things being offset within Scotland, though.
Trangia - on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to mypyrex:

If I was Dictator I'd abololish Bank Holidays completely and replace them with extra statutory holidays. Eg if you are aready entitled to 4 weeks statutory holiday it would become 5 weeks. This would spread the load on the transport system more evenly throughout the year.

As a former employer and employee, I can't see this being a major problem to either.

The only exception would be Christmas day, because this has become such a traditional family day, most people would, I suspect, what to retain it.
Robert Durran - on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to The Lemming:
> (In reply to Saor Alba)
>
> That is until you return back to Englandsshire's motorway system and get snarled up in traffic.

Move to Scotland then.

Actually, on second thoughts, don't.

myserable old git - on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to mypyrex: When I were a lad the bank holiday was the first Monday in August but it was moved back to dissuade people from going out for the day, it worked a treat didn't it!
ads.ukclimbing.com
Ramblin dave - on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to mypyrex:
I'm in two minds on this. To condense both points of view, if we didn't have fixed universal bank holidays then our club's bank holiday trip to Pembroke wouldn't have to contend with crowds, traffic queues, jam-packed pubs and campsites etc, but on the other hand, if we didn't have fixed universal bank holidays then we wouldn't actually have a bank holiday trip to Pembroke...
ice.solo - on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to Trangia:
> (In reply to mypyrex)
>
>
> The only exception would be Christmas day, because this has become such a traditional family day, most people would, I suspect, what to retain it.

not if you abolished it, and all religious hoo ha.

youre a dictator remember, you get to have your own national holidays, named after yourself.
GrahamD - on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to mypyrex:

Why are people always 'caught up in traffic' rather being part of the traffic ? All of us stuck in queues are part of that traffic problem - not somehow victims of it.
999thAndy on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to GrahamD:

Because we look out of a window onto all that traffic?
Ferret on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to mypyrex: Bank holidays are an out of date anachronism relating to a time when employees had no statutory holiday and this was the mandated method of ensuring they were given some leave.
Now that there is a statutory minimum their original use has been superceded.
On the basis that its more flexible for employees and beneficial for business I'm strongly in favour of simply increasing the statutory minimum and getting rid of an equall number of bank holidays.
Many businesses remain open, but in a half hearted sort of way. People who do need to get to work suffer poor transport provision (as the buses and trains all go onto reduced service), 'service industry' staff invariably have to work to serve all those who are on holiday so pretty uneven and unfair. Smashing to have a bank holiday Monday isn't it? Noty if you are cleaning pots in a kitchen, selling ice creams or driving the bus/manning the petrol pumps.....
Finally, the existing holidays are a mixed bag of religious and non religious. Getting rid of a few of the religious ones does away with the arguments that Christians in eth UK get X number of their religious days as holiday but other religions have to use their holiday entitelment if they want to be off on a special day.
I have worked in services and holidays were utterly irrelevant.. you worked them, without receiving any extra (unlike unionised jobs who get all sorts of extras for deigning to come to work on a 'holiday' day) and I currently work in finance. As the rest of the world is generally open on days the UK isn't we work, as its a bit hard to tell clients we were not looking after their money 'beacuse its the Queens birthday so we closed up'..... Also, based in Scotland theres a really annoying mis-mash of different firms taking English, Scottish, local or no holidays. Nobody ever knows whats going on, and most things are sort of open or you assume something will be and unexpectedly it isn't.

We take Christmas Day, Boxing day and New Years day as they are largely universal, mostly worldwide and are significant to most Britons irrespective of how actively Christian they happen to be or not. The other 5 days per year get added to holiday and are taken or not, and cover maintained in same way as every opther day of year. Seems a good compromise to me. Makes the bank holidays far more productive than they used to be when they were skeleton staff only as there is a critical mass in the office where normal work actually happens as people are around to work with/hold meetings/respond to things etc. Far better than coming in just in case and doing virtually nothing as nobody else is around.

More holiday and full flexibility. Why on earth do I want a random Monday in August? Weekends are just as available for BBQs with family and friends, we don't need a bank holiday to do that. Plus all my friends in jobs like police, retail, hospitality (and finance) wouldn't be there anyway.
Doug on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to Ferret: "Christmas Day, Boxing day and New Years day as they are largely universal, mostly worldwide"

Does anywhere outside the UK have Boxing Day ?
The New NickB - on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to mypyrex:
> (In reply to The New NickB) My post was not intended as a criticism but as a suggestion. At least MG saw my point and gave a reasoned response.

Referring to the other people on the road as 'sheep' hardly supports your argument. My response was perfectly reasoned thanks.
The New NickB - on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to mypyrex)
>
> Just come to the Highlands. Better and bigger hills, less people and little congestion. ;-)

Much worse roads. I assume you have been on the A82 in the summer.
Ferret on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to Doug: quite a few countries have similar. Either formally like the French 'Dec 26 Christmas Holiday', the Italian 'St Stephens Day', Norwegian Boxing day) or informally as a result of stretching Christmas day into a longer holiday. OK that one is weaker compared with the other 2 but there are plenty of places that do observe it.

As I said, reasonable compromise..... I accept those 3 are significant in UK and largely observed over reasonable parts of the world... but Japan is open on the 25th and closed on the 26th so unless you ban the lot you'll never be bang on, and banning those days would I suspect make little sense as most UK employees do want those days (poor service staff though, doing Christmas lunches for folk too lazy to cook at home!), and a reasonable proportion of rest of world observe them in some shape or form....
Flinticus - on 27 Aug 2013
Living in Glasgow, we didn't get the bank holiday but we do get another (and most Glaswegians will get aonther on top of that)

We also get two days off over the New Year!
kevin stephens - on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to mypyrex:

Just don't follow the herd. Yesterday I did a brilliant route on arguably the UK's best trad crag Fairhead in Northern Ireland . We were the only people on the crag and the evening ferry back to Great Britain was almost deserted.
Blue Straggler - on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to mypyrex)
> [...]
>
> Referring to the other people on the road as 'sheep' hardly supports your argument.

He's already declined to bite at this particular bait!
Trangia - on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to ice.solo:
> (In reply to Trangia)
> [...]
>
> youre a dictator remember, you get to have your own national holidays, named after yourself.

Well spotted.

Trangia Day (a national holiday of celebrations and fireworks) will be celebrated on 6th February when besides presents to each other every citizen will be expected give a present to me, but because I like to be considered a benevolent dictator, children under 5 will be exhempt, as will all citizens sharing my birthdate.

elsewhere on 27 Aug 2013
The advantage of bank holidays compared to annual leave is that your spouse/partner/family/friends are probably not at work on the same day so you can meet up or have events like the Notting Hill carnival.
Dr.S at work - on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to Trangia:
and will it be compulsory to cook meals on the stove you invented?
Shad - on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to Doug:

I live in America and they've never heard of Boxing Day here. They like the sound of it (quaint British thing), but you have to take annual leave if you want the day off. It felt pretty weird being at work last year on Boxing Day and everyone in the office just treating it like any other day. I'll take annual leave this year.
jimtitt - on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to Ferret:
Boxing Day is also a public holiday in Germany and Austria.
Philip on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to mypyrex:

Sheep don't queue. At least not around here.
Toerag - on 28 Aug 2013
In reply to kevin stephens:
> (In reply to mypyrex)
>
> Just don't follow the herd. Yesterday I did a brilliant route on arguably the UK's best trad crag Fairhead in Northern Ireland . We were the only people on the crag and the evening ferry back to Great Britain was almost deserted.

Agreed. Four of us just went to Clecy for a long weekend. The climbing wasn't awesome, but the weather was nice, the location idyllic and it was France with good french food and drink.
Trangia - on 28 Aug 2013
In reply to Toerag:

Clecy is a lovely spot. I agree about the climbing but the situation is great and there are good walks where you can stop off at farmhouses and buy cidre and fromage. If you stop too often on a hot summers day you can get quite pissed.
Timmd on 28 Aug 2013
In reply to Blue Straggler:
> (In reply to mypyrex)
> [...]
>
> You implied that people were "sheep" for committing the crime of queuing. What were they meant to do, have a car on sprung stilts like Professor Pat Pending off Wacky Races?

He actually said 'sheep like queues', which most queues could be described as, but, blimey, does it really matter?

The rest of his post is pretty sensible. We've limited time on this earth and some choose to spend it nit picking on here.

Seems to me some deserve to be grumpy if they spend their time nit picking on here.

Yes, I am going through a bad time at the moment...but good grief!


Go and look at the blue sky before you're covered in earth*...


(*Not you in particular Blue Straggler)
Timmd on 28 Aug 2013
Apologies all.
Blue Straggler - on 28 Aug 2013
In reply to Timmd:
> (In reply to Blue Straggler)
> [...]
>
> He actually said 'sheep like queues', which most queues could be described as, but, blimey, does it really matter?
>

I actually said "implied".

Also, I was out diving on Friday evening and Saturday daytime, got a good friend up her first two trad leads on Monday, have been cycling to work and enjoying the 30 mins of sunshine and fresh air that this brings me when travelling each way, I went to the climbing wall tonight and caught up with a bunch of mates, and I now have a cheeky midweek Chimay cooling slightly in the fridge. Plus I am just starting to read a jolly Mark Steel book.

Grumpy?!

Timmd on 28 Aug 2013
In reply to Blue Straggler: I have apologised. (:-))


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