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Calls for three extra bank holidays in February, September and November

People Before Profit said the government should support their Bill that will see three extra bank holidays established.

Image: RollingNews.ie

IRELAND NEEDS MORE bank holidays, according to People Before Profit which are  proposing that three extra dates be added to the calendar.

The dates included in a new Bill from the party are 1 February, the last Monday in September and the last Monday in November.

Ireland currently lags behind many EU countries in bank holiday entitlements.

Ireland has 20 days minimum holiday entitlements and nine paid public holidays compared to France, for example, with 30 days minimum holiday entitlements and 11 paid public holidays, the party highlighted.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said last year that the government would consider an extra Bank Holiday for 2021 – but nothing materialised.

The idea of Ireland having an extra bank holiday to boost the tourism sector has been mooted for over a year now. It was raised in the Tourism Recovery Plan from the Tourism Recovery Taskforce that said among its recommendations that an additional bank holiday in the off-peak season should be considered.

Under consideration 

When asked about whether another bank holiday is on the cards for Ireland, the Taoiseach told TheJournal.ie in December:

“I think that is one potential, yes, that we could do in terms of reflecting and acknowledging the work of many workers in different fields and in different sectors…

“We’ll consider it.”

Speaking today on the new Bill, People Before Profit spokesperson on Employment Rights, Paul Murphy said that workers in Ireland deserve more bank holidays and that the government should pass this simple Bill without opposition.

“Workers in Ireland are lagging way behind their European counterparts in terms of paid holiday entitlements. This Bill would begin to realign the balance by introducing three new bank holiday dates – in February, September and November.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic workers in Ireland have been working the equivalent of 38 extra hours per month, according to a LinkedIn survey, and have experienced increased stress levels working from home. It is only right and fair that workers in this country who work extremely hard are rewarded with extra public holidays,” he said.

Frontline workers

Richard Boyd Barrett said the pandemic has hit workers hard and that many frontline workers, in particular, are not paid enough for the work that they have done and the efforts they have and are putting in over this pandemic.

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“Whilst extra bank holidays cannot make up for the low wages that a huge proportion of workers have to put up with, workers in this country should be rewarded for that hard work by the government allowing this Bill to progress and legislating for increased bank holidays,” he said.

Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris told The Journal back in May of last year that he supported the idea of an extra bank holiday.

“I think when the country gets through this – and we will get through it – and it’s safe to begin to do some normal things again.

“I think there would be some benefit in having a day to recognise all that people have been through and sacrificed, that people might be able to enjoy with their family and friends,” he said.

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