The Monday May Bank Holiday could be moved to a Friday next year

The early May bank holiday, known as May Day, always falls on a Monday but it could be moved to a Friday next year.

This would be to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

Bank holiday
May Day could be moved from a Monday to a Friday next year
Rex Features

Business secretary Greg Clark has suggested that the bank holiday should be moved from Monday, May 4, to Friday, May 8, next year to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the so-called Victory in Europe Day, or VE Day, according to The Times.

On May 8 in 1945 the Allies – Britain, France, the Soviet Union, the US and China – celebrated the defeat of Nazi Germany, marking the end of the Second World War.

In a letter sent to chancellor Philip Hammond last week, Mr Clark said: “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: “Although the date of Armistice Day [marking the end of the First World War on November 11, 1918] is well known across the country because of the events on Remembrance Sunday, I believe the day of VE Day may be less well known.

“It would be a tragedy if this date slipped from the minds of the general public.”

The date change could lead to disruption when it comes to the timing of school holidays and benefits payments, but Mr Clark said there would be limited impact as long as the plan was agreed soon. He asked for an answer by next Tuesday.

The Association of School and College Leaders has supported the plan, telling The Times that “it would provide a good opportunity to engage young people in learning and activities about this important historical event.”

Meanwhile, Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the Trades Union Congress, questioned why there aren’t two days off.

She said: “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.”

A date change for a bank holiday can be achieved under the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971.

If you can’t wait to get some time off, here’s a round-up of the upcoming bank holidays for this year.

Smart workers can get 18 days off in a row at Easter by using just nine days of annual leave this year.

You can also double your effective holiday in 2019 by booking off these 25 days.

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