The early May bank holiday, also known as May Day, was a topic for discussion at the House of Commons last week, as MPs plan to move it in 2020 from a Monday to a Friday.
2020 marks the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day (VE Day), which business secretary, Greg Clark, would like to properly commemorate by pushing the May Day bank holiday that year back from the 4th to the 8th May.
VE Day marks the moment when the allies of Nazi Germany accepted their defeat and surrendered, effectively ending the Second World War in Europe. Millions of people gathered in London and held street parties to celebrate.
In a letter to Chancellor Philip Hammond, Clark wrote: “I believe that the country should be allowed to take time to commemorate this great occasion, and to recall those who sacrificed their lives in the Second World War on behalf of us all.” He added: “It would be a tragedy if VE Day slipped from the minds of the general public.”
A major concern associated with moving the day is the disruption it could cause to school holidays. However, The Association of School and College Leaders have advised that “it would provide a good opportunity to engage young people in learning and activities about this important historical event.”
Many have questioned why there shouldn’t be 2 days off. Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the Trades Union Congress, told The Times: “May Day and the 75th VE Day anniversary are both special days and celebrating them should not come at the expense of each other. The government should give people time off for both.”
The decision hasn’t been finalised yet, but we would love to hear your thoughts on the matter. Should it be changed from a Monday to a Friday? Should we have an additional bank holiday?
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