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Unofficial 'People's Bank Holidays' to bring UK in line with the rest
of Europe.

London, November 11th - Four new Bank Holidays have been announced in order to increase
productivity and improve the physical and mental health of British
workers. The dates have been chosen by the British public via the

The idea of increasing Britain's eight bank holidays (ten in Northern
Ireland) to match the European average of 12 was raised last year by
the labour-affiliated think tank the Fabian Society, and has been
backed by Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott and the TUC. It follows
a number of studies that show that people are more productive if they
work for fewer hours. British workers have the least amount of
holidays in Northern Europe and are also the least productive.

Traditionally the DTI announce the dates of bank holidays. However,
despite overwhelming support by both workers and experts, they have
yet to respond or announce new dates. It seems likely that the DTI
are working too hard and have simply been unable to get round to it.

In an effort to help out, the website has declared
the four new bank holidays on behalf of the British public. The dates
were chosen by visitors to the website, and are:

· Monday 4th Feb 2001 (Annually - the 1st Monday in February)

· Monday 4th March 2001 (1st Monday in March)

· Monday 23rd September 2001 (4th Monday in September)

· Friday 1st November (1st Nov, or the following Monday if this falls
on a weekend) was launched in June 2001, and is run by Manny
Calaveras, better known as 'Sleeper'.

"We realise that Tony Blair has got a lot on his plate at the
moment", explains Sleeper, "But we feel sure that he'd declare a few
more bank holidays if he actually had time to sit down and think
about it. Once you consider the positive effects on productivity,
health, families, tourism and general happiness, or compare the
working hours and national holidays in the UK with the rest of
Europe, then you'd have to be quite mad not to, or at the very least
seriously confused".

"So we thought we'd help out and declare the holidays for him. We've
even called them the 'People's Bank Holidays', not just because they
were actually chosen by the people, but because we know he likes that
sort of thing. Every Briton can do their part to help their country
by staying off work on these dates. Hopefully the DTI will make it
official by filling out the paperwork at a later date, when they get
a spare moment".

The people of Great Britain are not alone in declaring new Bank
Holidays in 2002. The Queen has also announced one, on June 3rd, to
celebrate her Golden Jubilee. The Spring Bank Holiday has been moved
to June 4th, giving everyone a four-day weekend. Whilst this is
obviously welcome, it only applies to 2002 and is not part of a long-
term fix for our problems of over-work.

FURTHER INFORMATION -Visit the 'links' page for related news
stories and reports including:

· How working longer hours makes you less productive.

· How working too many hours harms your sex life.

· How the French economy has benefited from the introduction of a 35
hour working week.

· How John Prescott and the TUC have backed the Fabian Society's call
for four new bank holidays. - official information on bank
holidays, including dates, a FAQ and historical information.


Munir Kotadia
020 8286 3212

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