Licensees divided on making Jubilee bank holiday permanent

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Permanent fixture: 51% of licensees felt this years extra bank holiday should be made permanent while 49% did not (Credit: Getty/naumoid)
Permanent fixture: 51% of licensees felt this years extra bank holiday should be made permanent while 49% did not (Credit: Getty/naumoid)

Related tags Camra ukhospitality Bbpa Legislation Bank holiday

Making the extra bank holiday for the Queens Platinum Jubilee a permanent fixture would be a fitting tribute but thanking the service industry would be a better celebration according to licensees across the sector.

This comes as a recent snap poll​ by the Morning Advertiser found 51% (19) of respondents felt the extra bank holiday should be made permanent while 49% (18) felt it should not.

Licensee of the Unruly Pig in Woodbridge, Suffolk, Brendan Padfield said: “Queen Elizabeth​ has been our longest serving monarch in this nation’s history.

“That extraordinary achievement is immense by any measure and deserves huge recognition, [also] as a country we have [fewer] public holidays than most other countries in Europe.

“The slings and arrows hospitality has faced in the last two years (and is still facing) have been probably worse than any other sector.

“What lies ahead is going to be no picnic for the foreseeable future so an extra permanent bank holiday would go just a little way to helping us get a leg up.”

Thanking the service industry 

However, some felt while attributing an extra bank holiday to her Majesty was a nice idea, hospitality was equally deserving of a celebration with other issues in the industry more prominent.

Frisco Group managing director Heath Ball said: “It would be even better if it were there to celebrate and thank the service industry.

“I'd rather the energy put into discussing additional Bank Holiday's​ was focused on things like getting the rating system sorted for pubs, or there will be less pubs to be open on Bank Holidays.”

An extra bank holiday could offer small businesses a lifeline at a crucial time as hospitality, leisure and retail suffered throughout the pandemic and now face rising costs​ across the board as well as the increasing ​of VAT and business rates.

Simply Business UK CEO Alan Thomas said: “Making this year’s additional bank holiday for the Queen’s Jubilee permanent would provide a much needed – and long-lasting – boost to small businesses in the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors.

“Alarmingly, one in six small businesses say they will never financially recover from the pandemic, equating to nearly one million UK small businesses in total.

Economic recovery 

“A further one in five (21%) don’t ever expect to return to pre-pandemic trading levels, while one three (32%) are currently living in fear of running out of money.

“With almost six million UK SMEs, contributing trillions of pounds a year in turnover, it is vital to the country’s economic recovery they bounce back.

“An additional bank holiday every year would provide a substantial boost to small business owners across retail, hospitality and leisure, at a time when it’s needed most.”

This follows last week’s calls from the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), UKHospitality (UKH​) and the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA​) to make the bank holiday permanent, coining it ‘Thank Holiday’, in a letter to the Prime Minister and Chancellor.

CAMRA​ national chairman Nik Antona said: “We can all raise a glass to the Government's recent decision to extend licensing hours​ for pubs over the Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend.

“We urge the Government to consider making this additional bank holiday a permanent feature in the calendar, as we believe it would be both economically and socially beneficial for communities up and down the country.”

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