Source Marketing Direct looks at the additional bank holiday allocated for the Royal Wedding from a business’ perspective; it is estimated that the consecutive bank holidays in April will cost the UK economy £6billion in lost revenue (USA Today, March 2011). The public are happy for the holiday but how will employers fare?
The Royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton is set to take place Friday 29th April at the Westminster Abbey in London. The event is undoubtedly one of the most important calendar dates this year as the matrimony unites the future King and Queen of England, and Source Marketing Direct are certainly looking forward to the event. In November last year, David Cameron confirmed that the public would be given an extra bank holiday on the day of the wedding in line with the couple’s desire for their soon-to-be nation to celebrate their special day with them. However, this comes at no small cost to an already struggling economy with the projected loss in revenue at £6billion. It has been suggested that £1billion will be clawed back through tourism and retail but this still leaves a shortfall of £5billion (USA Today, March 2011).
The Federation of Small Businesses said that the holiday could not have come at a worse time. From a financial point of view with VAT having increased in January, businesses are trying to readjust and develop momentum entering into the second quarter. The additional bank holiday means that there are only 3 days between April 21st and May 3rd that companies are open for trading. Legally, employers do not have to give the holiday as paid leave but it is estimated that many will out of goodwill (FSB, March 2011). The issue that businesses face of course is the risk of upsetting staff by not giving it as leave.
Hector Montalvo of Source Marketing Direct says “For small businesses like us bank holidays are always going to mean a loss in profitability, but there is no avoiding them.
The additional holiday this year does fall at an already busy time, it means three disrupted weeks in a row which is a bit tough. The other side of it though is that as human beings we need a break, we need time with friends and family. I have been running a company for ten years and morale is always at its highest after holidays, people are rejuvenated and refreshed generally more focussed and therefore more productive. I think that given the year we have had with the continued economic downturn, the war, the disasters we have seen, that something positive, something that pulls families and friends and a nation together is a good thing, and I wish the young couple the absolute best for their special day and future!”