Time for a bit of myth-busting. If I were to ask a cross section of gainfully employed public in the UK and in Poland “In which country can you expect to get the most days off work?”, the vast majority would answer, Poland.
Fair enough, traditionally Poland has had a lot more public holidays than the UK, not as big a difference as people think but more nonetheless. Once this thinking is ingrained in people’s minds it is hard to get it out but now is the time for everyone to adjust their opinions because in the coming year, 2011, it is the workers of the UK that will have more time off work!
Okay, to be fair, this is all a matter of the timing of holidays versus calendar days but facts are facts. In Poland, there are 13 public holidays and in the UK there are 8, BUT, in the UK you are given substitute days if these fall on any weekend day and in Poland you do not. Additionally, in 2011 the UK has an extra day off for the wedding of Prince Smug and Kate Welloff and another in 2012 for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
So, in 2011, the UK will have nine days off and in Poland we will have only eight because five of the holidays fall at the weekend and will not be substituted.
UK Bank Holidays 2011
- 3rd January (Monday) substitute for New Year’s Day
- 22nd April (Friday) Good Friday
- 25th April (Monday) Easter Monday
- 29th April (Friday) Royal Wedding
- 2nd May (Monday) Early May Bank Holiday
- 30th May (Monday) Spring Bank Holiday
- 29th August (Monday) Summer Bank Holiday
- 26th December (Monday) substitute for Christmas Day
- 27th December (Tuesday) substitute for Boxing Day
Poland Bank Holidays 2011
- 01 January (Saturday) New Year
- 06 January (Thursday) Three Kings Day (The Epiphany)
- 24 April (Sunday) Easter
- 25 April (Monday) Easter Monday
- 01 May (Sunday) International Workers’ Day
- 03 May (Tuesday) May-3rd-Constitution Day
- 12 June (Sunday) Pentecost
- 23 June (Thursday) Corpus Christi
- 15 August (Monday) Assumption of Mary
- 01 November (Tuesday) All Saints
- 11 November (Friday) Polish Independence Day
- 25 December (Sunday) Christmas (1st day)
- 26 December (Monday) Christmas (2nd day)
This all results in situations like today and tomorrow while our UK colleagues bask in the glory of two official days off to recover from Christmas (because it fell over a weekend), my wife and other Polish workers are straight back to work with turkey-laden bellies. I would be too except I’ve taken some of my holiday entitlement to get some rest over the festive season and recharge before 2011 gets started.
And let’s not hear any arguments that Poles get more statutory holiday from their employers either. In the UK most people get 28 days holiday (5.6 weeks’ paid annual leave). In Poland they get a maximum of 26.