We have Bank Holidays in the UK, they are called this because they were weekdays when the banks closed. Most people used to have the day off and most shops were closed.
Today Bank Holidays are shopping days, with most retailers open for trade. And now UK retail banks are starting to open their doors to customers on Bank Holidays. Barclays are set to open 50 of their busiest branches on Monday 4 May. RBS and NatWest will open 34 branches.
An idea: cancel bank holidays, add the days to everyone’s annual leave entitlement and let people choose when to have time off.
A bank holiday is a public holiday in the United Kingdom, some Commonwealth countries, other European countries such as Switzerland, and a colloquialism for a public holiday in Ireland.
There is no automatic right to time off on these days, although banks close and the majority of the working population is granted time off work or extra pay for working on these days, depending on their contract.
The first official bank holidays were the four days named in the Bank Holidays Act 1871, but today the term is colloquially used (albeit incorrectly) for the two public holidays which are not official bank holidays in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, namely Good Friday and Christmas Day.
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- email address for kevin McDonald at RBS