If I’m entirely honest I don’t actually think I am in line for one in the first place, a knighthood that is, so I think I’m safe writing this blog.
There’s a Royal wedding coming up soon, something I’m really happy about. Whatever you think about Britain, we can’t half do pomp and ceremony well. And I love all that stuff, so even though I don’t really care whether I’m a subject or a citizen I’m glad we’ll have something to celebrate.
But then we get a few little niggles on the ol’ HR front beginning to make themselves known.
First of all, I read yesterday that Aslef has announced that Tube drivers could strike on the Royal wedding day. Okay, so industrial action is a way getting what you want as a trade union, sometimes it’s justified and sometimes not, but I think to use the wedding in this way, as leverage in a dispute which is questionable, is nothing short of reprehensible.
And there’s just a tickle in today’s news that BA staff might strike on the same day, although this is being vigourously denied!
I must admit, I wasn’t much on fire about these two stories because it’s clearly a negotiating ploy and (probably) a way of grabbing some headlines; which worked.
However, when the wedding is mentioned again in the next article, it starts to irritate a little bit. This time it affects Enterprise Britain much more closely. You see, it’s been confirmed in Scotland, the Isle of Man, Guernsey (almost) and England (almost) that the Royal wedding day will be a public holiday.
The day itself is Friday 29th April and falls in the same week as Easter Monday. This means that there will be a four day week, followed by a three day week, followed by a four day week, because the following Monday is Mayday.
The other thing, of course, is if the public holiday is made compulsory and workers have booked it off to cover, say Easter hols with the children, they will get that day later in the year as an extra holiday. The impact could be huge in terms of working days lost.
Surely it would be better to make the holiday discretionary and then employers who want to give the day can, and those that don’t at least have a choice.
We’ll be giving the day in our office and probably would have done in any case. A quick straw poll around the office gave mixed reactions…
My husband’s reaction was best ‘Oh good, we can watch it down the pub!’ As though it was a football match!