I found out at the weekend that it’s going to cost United Bristol Healthcare Trust (the hospital trust) around £1 million in additional staffing costs because of the extra Bank Holiday on the day of the Royal Wedding. This is because they need to pay people time-and-a-half or double time to work on a Bank Holiday.
On speaking to a colleague about it today I then found out that not all hospitals are paying the higher rates. Apparently Birmingham hospital isn’t; Wolverhampton is. I’d have thought Bank Holiday rates of pay were part of the contractual terms and conditions, not something that could be a subject for the management’s discretion. But maybe the Royal Wedding isn’t a ‘proper’ Bank Holiday in law, just a day off?
Obviously this is topical for other reasons, with the Government floating the idea of abolishing the May Day Bank Holiday and replacing it with a St. George’s Day holiday or something in October, Trafalgar Day I think.
I suspect it’s more motivated by hatred of May Day and its lefty connotations than anything else, although a day off in October would make some people very happy. (Not MPs, we’ve barely gone back to work by then). People talk about the cost to business about having an extra Bank Holiday, but there’s also a cost to the public sector – or at least the more generous parts of the public sector – too.