Clever Brits can enjoy nine days in the sun using just four days of leave this August.
With The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee's four-day Bank Holiday weekend now firmly consigned to the history books, the attention for many UK workers now shifts to their summer breaks and how they can maximise their time off for the rest of 2022. New research from Frank Recruitment Group - a global leader in resourcing for IT professionals - has found that UK workers can more than double their time away from work by identifying the best dates on the calendar to request off, to exploit the number of days spent away from work without their holiday allowance taking too much of a hit. For starters, those who are savvy with their leave allocation can enjoy nine days of late summer sun using just four days of annual leave. With Monday, August 29 being a Bank Holiday in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, workers can book the rest of that week off (Tuesday, August 30 – Friday, September 2) and jet off into the sun or enjoy all that the UK has to offer during their extended time off.
Scottish workers can enjoy a similar return at the beginning of August, with a four-day request for August 2-5 also resulting in a nine-day break from work. With the Christmas Day and New Year’s Day bank holidays falling on a weekend this year, this tactic presents the possibility of extending the festive cheer by turning three days of annual leave into an eight-day break. As both of those holidays are observed on a substitute date, most UK employees can be off between December 24 and January 2 by booking three days for December 28-30 as annual leave. The news is better for Scottish workers since their extra bank holiday at the beginning of the new year means that this break can be extended by a further 24 hours. Due to Scotland opting to assign one of their bank holidays to the day of their patron saint, workers based north of the border can also prolong their St Andrews Day celebrations to nine days by booking off November 27-28 and December 1-2.
A similar tactic will also work across Northern Ireland around the Battle of the Boyne (Orangemen’s Day) public holiday on Tuesday, July 12. Workers taking four days of leave for the rest of that week can earn a break of nine days overall.
Looking ahead to 2023 While that is all for this year, early planning could see shrewd employees take full advantage of their time off throughout 2023 using a similar strategy around the allocated public holidays. Like their Gaelic cousins, Northern Ireland has also assigned one of their bank holidays to honour their patron saint. Therefore, St Patrick’s Day celebrations can be spread out over nine days by employees who request annual leave from Monday, March 13 to Thursday, March 16 inclusive. Easter Sunday falls on April 9 in 2023, meaning that four days of leave taken on either side of the Easter weekend (April 3-6 or April 11-14) would result in workers enjoying an eight-day break. However, doubling down and booking both would extend that to a mammoth 16 days, allowing for the first half of April to be spent away from work for just eight days of holiday (nine days for Scotland, where Easter Monday isn’t recognised as a bank holiday.) There is also the potential for English, Welsh and Northern Irish workers to be at home for a good chunk of next May, with two bank holidays spread across the first and last weeks of the month. A nine-day break can be achieved by those booking four days of leave between May 2-5. Meanwhile, workers from Scotland can also join in the fun with the rest of the UK for the 2023 Spring Bank Holiday by requesting Tuesday, May 30 to Friday, June 2 off. Mental health benefits “Employee wellbeing is an imperative part of a successful workforce, and ensuring a healthy work-life balance goes a long way in helping businesses to achieve that,” said Zoë Morris, President of Frank Recruitment Group. “Holidays allow employees time to de-stress, unwind and relax away from the hustle and bustle that working life can generate. ”Employers should also do more to encourage a healthier balance. For example, organisations could implement a Christmas closedown so that their workforce can spend the festive period with their nearest and dearest. This is particularly important when managing a global team who may need to travel home for Christmas. “This would also enable them to return to work in the new year revitalised and reinvigorated. That benefits employees and the company as a whole, as it means employees can work to their full potential while helping reduce the chance of mistakes being made by fatigued workers. “By having the option of taking other prolonged spells away from work using these holiday hacks – be it during the summer and at Easter/May time – it presents the opportunity for employees to recharge their batteries throughout the year, without using up as much of their annual allowance.” This viewpoint is further supported by mental health experts, who have highlighted the need to take a holiday from work and focus on other things. Empowerment coach Laura Connor of Lau of Attraction commented: “Taking time away from work for breaks and vacation is so important for maintaining your mental and physical health. It can seem counterintuitive to stop doing what you’re doing to take a break, but when you return, you will find your productivity has increased. “By taking time for yourself, you will find your ability to work improves, thanks to time for relaxation and re-energising yourself.” Just Jaz career coach Jaz Broughton added: "We're not built to be switched on all the time, despite what technology will tell us. Taking time off for a duvet day without the pressure to fill it with plans is important in helping us realise that things don't fall apart if you step away for a moment.
“This thought can be difficult to understand if you struggle with stress and anxiety, particularly."
Holiday data was collected from the UK government website (https://www.gov.uk/). As each country in the United Kingdom has different bank holidays, a different sheet was set up. Holidays with (substitute) fall on weekends, and the next weekday becomes a bank holiday, usually the following Monday.
Scotland and Northern Ireland both have devolved powers, so the Scottish government and the Northern Ireland Executive can set extra bank holidays. As such, January 2 and St Andrew's Day are bank holidays in Scotland only, while St Patrick's Day and Battle of the Boyne (Orangemen's Day) are bank holidays in Northern Ireland only.