How Do Bank Holidays Affect Your Business?

The days when Great Britain would completely shut down during bank holiday weekends may be over, but these breaks can still cause a great deal of disruption for businesses.

This is especially true at this time of year, as public holidays seem to come thick and fast. Just a couple of weeks after the Easter break, companies are now faced with two further bank holidays this month.

Should bank holidays be spread out?

With workers enjoying four days off in quick succession in April and May, many businesses have called for the holiday calendar to be reviewed.

Last month, a government think tank conducted some research on the wellbeing of people living in the UK and the timing of public holidays featured prominently in the report. The study – which was carried out by Cabinet Office representative Lisa Ollerhead – highlighted peaks and troughs in employee happiness between 2011 and 2013.

It will surprise few people that workers were markedly more content around national holidays, with the Royal Wedding of 2011 and Diamond Jubilee of 2012 being particular high points. Ms Ollerhead suggested that this information could pave the way for some bank holidays to be shifted around.

“After a few more years of data we might even consider moving a bank holiday into early winter when the nights are drawing in and we’re feeling low,” she commented.

What would this mean for businesses?

Moving one of the May bank holidays to December could work in favour of many companies. A lot of employees find themselves under greater pressure in April and May, as they have fewer working days in which to meet targets and deadlines.

Of course, having a public holiday in the weeks leading up to Christmas would benefit retailers in particular, although other firms may find it an added burden with so many employees already taking time off over the festive season. It’s fair to say that any plans to alter the bank holiday schedule will receive a mixed response.

One of the most pressing problems firms face during bank holidays is maintaining contact with customers. Although the majority of workers in the UK are given the day off, they still expect company call centres to remain open.

At alldayPA, we’ve found that the number of phone calls being received by organisations on bank holidays has risen substantially in the past few years, and businesses simply cannot afford to ignore this fact. The UK economy may be in better shape than it was this time last year, but that certainly doesn’t mean companies can afford to take their foot off the gas.

Competition in most sectors is still as intense as ever, which means firms must do all they can to retain their existing customers. If they fail to deal with phone calls on bank holidays, there is a strong chance their clients will go elsewhere, so having a system in place that ensures all enquiries are handled quickly and efficiently has never been more important.

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