What could extra bank holidays do to your finances?

bank holiday, newspaper article text

With election fever running at its peak, the Labour party’s new proposal to give us all four extra bank holidays might seem like a popular move, but there will be financial gains and losses for many of us.

Small business owners stand to lose money, with the the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) estimating the cost of each bank holiday to be £2.3 billion.

But it’s not terrible news for every small business.

Businesses such as hotels and pubs could gain from our extra spending on the bank holidays.

Equally, there is a huge amount of research that shows us that taking more time off actually increases our productivity. Great news for the self employed, businesses and workers alike.

For salaried and contracted workers who get paid extra rates for working bank holidays there is certainly the potential to gain from the increase,

And for those workers who can sell holiday entitlement, there is the opportunity to regain some extra pay by selling the extra days gained as a bank holiday out of their annual allowance.

Most of us, however, will end up spending more money as individuals. One survey in 2014 revealed that while the average person spends about £94 on an average weekend, we spend an average of £207 on a bank holiday weekend as we plan days out, short trips or invest in the house or garden.

Ultimately, of course that extra spending goes back into the businesses which have lost employee working time which takes us back into a neat circle. This is possibly why the CEBR admits it is very hard to work out the cost of extra bank holidays to the economy.

What many of us gain, of course, is hard to quantify but valuable nonetheless: extra time with family and friends.

What do you think about the proposal? We’d love to hear your thoughts.