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SMEs refuse staff extra day's holiday for Diamond Jubilee weekend

23rd Apr 2012
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Two thirds of small-and-medium-sized companies are refusing to give employees an extra day's holiday to honour the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, research has revealed.

According to the poll of 700 SMEs by business support services company Elas, 62% intend to either open as usual or force staff to take the extra day on Tuesday 5 June out of their holiday entitlement. Another three quarters admitted that they were against the government using additional bank holidays as a way of celebrating national events such as the Jubilee and last year's Royal Wedding. Peter Mooney, Elas' head of consultancy, said: "This is the second year running that businesses have been asked to foot the bill for a royal celebration. While most people don't want to begrudge the Queen wanting to celebrate 60 years on the throne, these are businesses which are, in many cases, already hard-pressed to make ends meet, and which simply cannot afford another day’s lost trade." But the survey suggested that the majority of bosses were going to either open their doors as usual or force staff to take the day out of their annual leave entitlement in order to mitigate the "negative effects of a lost day's trade," he added. The government has moved the Spring bank holiday back a week to 4 June and declared a special bank holiday on 5 June to create a four-day weekend marking the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. But many employers are not bound to give staff the day off. "It all depends on the wording of companies' employment contracts," Mooney advised. "If contracts state that staff are entitled to, for example, 20 days' paid leave plus bank holidays, then any new bank holiday such as Jubilee Day must be honoured accordingly." But more and more employers were starting to amend contracts to state that staff were entitled to a total of 28 days' leave, including any bank holidays. This means that, "the more bank holidays there are, the fewer days are left for employees to take as and when they choose", Mooney added. How are you dealing with the Diamond Jubilee? Will you be giving your employees the day off? Should extra bank holidays be used to celebrate national events? Post your comments and opinions below.

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By Yolk Recruitment
24th Apr 2012 11:54

I can see how this can be a tough decision for a lot of SMEs, the extra day off can have a major impact on not just cashflow but on production or sales. We've decided to give our recruitment consultants the day off as we feel they deserve it. You also have to consider the motivational impact, you risk alientating your workforce and having an unproductive few months rather than just one day.

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