A campaign for a new ‘thank holiday’ in Scotland and across the UK will be publicly launched on Friday.
The campaign is calling for both the UK and Scottish governments to create a new annual bank holiday from 2023.
It is being billed as a ‘thank holiday’ as a “way of recognising the service of millions of people in our communities, especially over the last two years”.
The idea would also recognise the Queen’s service and comes ahead of the 70th anniversary of Her Majesty ascending to the throne on Sunday.
Numerous organisations including the Scottish Retail Consortium, CBI Scotland, UKHospitality, the Scouts, Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland and the Trades Union Congress have expressed support for the campaign.
“The thank holiday campaign is a great idea that would be welcomed by Scotland’s retail sector,” said David Lonsdale, director of the Scottish Retail Consortium.
“Shops would relish the chance to help people plan local celebrations, and it would be a fantastic opportunity to celebrate and say thank you to all those who have gone above and beyond and supported their communities so magnificently during the past two years.”
Bank holidays are a devolved issue in Scotland. They are set by Scottish ministers and are the same across the whole of Scotland.
Public or local holidays, on the other hand, are determined by local authorities and can differ between areas. There are eight bank holidays in England and Wales, nine in Scotland, and ten in Northern Ireland.
Leon Thompson, UKHospitality’s executive director for Scotland, said: “We love to celebrate the best of Scotland together, especially in our beloved pubs, bars and restaurants.
“An annual ‘thank holiday’ would provide a focus point for celebrating a lifetime of Her Majesty’s service to the nation and the incredible spirit and actions of our community heroes, while also giving a welcome boost for a recovering Scottish hospitality sector.”
Frances O’Grady, the General Secretary of the TUC, said: “UK workers put in millions of hours of unpaid overtime each year. But we get fewer public holidays than most of our neighbouring countries.
“An extra public holiday every year would be a great way to thank workers across the UK for getting us through these tough times.”
This year in Scotland the late May Bank Holiday will be moved from Monday May, 30 to Thursday June, 2 and an additional bank holiday has been created on Friday June, 3.
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The First Minister has taken the necessary steps to ensure that the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee is appropriately recognised with an extended bank holiday in 2022 in Scotland.
“The people of Scotland will have access to this long weekend in early June to enjoy community-led celebratory events.”