The world seems a better place during Bank Holiday week, if you don’t have to work them of course, and this one is no different. Plenty of booze, laughter, football and even a bit of gardening thrown in for good measure
May is often cited by some as their favourite month of the year due to the fact that it is bookended by two bank holidays. For four weeks life seems that little bit fairer, with many of us buoyed by the memory of a long weekend and the promise of one on the horizon.
If one thing is guaranteed to lift a nation it is the prospect of three days away from the office. Which is why it is a mystery that there are fewer Bank Holidays granted to the Great British worker than those in almost any other country. The only place where folk are worse off than we are is that last bastion of workers’ rights, Mexico.
In the land of tacos and drugs barons the man in the street cops for seven bank holidays, compared to our pitiful eight.
The good people of Finland are the envy of the world due to their 15 annual bank holidays, while the Turkish workforce bizarrely receives 14.5 extra days off, and the Austrians and French among others benefit from a dozen national holidays. While the hard headed bean counters among you may argue that our GDP is greater than those listed, partly due to the fact they aren’t sitting around swigging Pastis and playing boules.
But I would disagree. Yes the economy, although shuddering slightly, is improving but surely a happier, less worked society would be an even more productive one.
While it may not be an election clincher, the red faced folk who in the past few weeks have frantically panted up and down our streets shoving badly written election leaflets through our letterboxes, could have done worse than promising us more time away from the laptop.
Rather than vague pledges of putting a few extra quid in our pockets I would much prefer another day in bed or one spent in a beer garden. But out-of-touch decision makers would not dream of seriously threatening to realign our work-life balance because that would mean them actually delivering something tangible to the electorate.
Before you dismiss my argument as trivial, try to imagine yourself in eight weeks’ time when the days are longer but the next bank holiday is still nearly two months away. Try telling me that you wouldn’t sell swap your boxset of a Game of Thrones for a Monday afternoon on the beach?
See, I told you I was right.