U.K. Mandates 28 Days Paid Vacation
The Labour Party is paying off its union supporters by forcing firms to pay workers for not working.
British workers will get an extra eight days of paid vacation a year under new regulations published today, narrowing the gap with other European nations.
Employees will be entitled to a statutory minimum of 28 days including eight public holidays, Trade and Industry Minister Jim Fitzpatrick told Parliament in a written statement. The minimum will rise to 24 days from 20, starting in October, and to 28 days from April 2009. The move will help 6 million mainly low-paid and low-skilled workers, Fitzpatrick said. “This extra time off will make a real difference in the lives of hard-working people — a proper rest from work and more time to spend with their families and friends,” he said.
The increase is part of package of commitments agreed between labor unions and Prime Minister Tony Blair’s government in 2004. The Warwick Agreement was designed to avert the threat of mass disaffiliation by unions, which help to finance the ruling Labour Party, before the May 2005 general election.
The move brings U.K. workers closer into line with their counterparts in other parts of Europe. A German worker gets up to 32 days, a French worker 36 while a worker in Austria gets 38 days, according to the Trades Union Congress, an umbrella group representing more than 6 million workers in the U.K.
I don’t doubt that people will enjoy having more time off, although it’s far from clear why they should be entitled to it. Or, if they are, why it shouldn’t be financed from the public treasury rather than by firms having to do without the services of the laborers they are nonetheless forced to pay.