Sir Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England, is reported as saying he expects the UK economy to contract between April and June due to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee bank holiday.
For years we’ve heard calls that the UK does not have enough public holidays and now that we get an extra day we find out it could be damaging.
Can one extra day of holiday do so much harm to the economy? I suppose many people will book the whole week off, but then they will be using their annual leave, which they would use at another time if not that week. Many businesses allow only a certain proportion of staff to take holiday at one time so that operations continue without disruption.
Presumably the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors are looking to cash in on the Jubilee. I can visualise the stacks of lager confronting shoppers as they enter supermarkets, the souvenirs in gift shops, the special offers in restaurants. If these initiatives don’t increase sales, why do businesses bother with them?
Cynics could say that the amount of sick leave will increase so that people can get a longer holiday. Is that valid?
If one extra day of Jubilee celebrations is damaging, what about the Olympics? During the last football World Cup, trying to contact some business people was difficult as many took time off during the day to watch matches. Will this happen during the Olympics?
I’m not interested in football or the Olympics, although I hope those who are enjoy them. However, I think absence to watch sport, or participate in any other leisure event, should be taken as annual leave. Should we be concerned about the level of unauthorised absence during the Olympics and its effect on productivity and the economy? Or is Sir Mervyn King blowing this issue up out of proportion?
I’m determined to enjoy the long break for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee bank holiday, but I’ll probably be working like crazy for the other three days of that week.
The Olympics will not affect my work at all. If business is quiet and I can’t contact anyone to get things done, I’ll spend the time working on my own business development so it will actually help the business grow.
I wonder what Sir Mervyn King will be doing.