If anyone is hoping to say goodbye to 2022 and hello to 2023 away from work, they could book off the remainder of the week following Christmas Day (Monday 25 December) and Boxing Day (Tuesday 26 December), as well as the Tuesday to Friday following New Year (Monday 1 January) for 16 days' work-free using just seven days of annual leave. In Scotland, this could even be six days as Tuesday 2 January is a public holiday there.
As the year nears its end, attention has already shifted to what exciting times 2023 has in store for some. New research from Frank Recruitment Group – a global leader in resourcing cloud professionals – has found UK workers can further stretch out their time away from work by requesting certain days off around public holidays.
Northern Ireland has the first chance to score a nine-day break using only four days of leave by booking off Monday to Thursday in the run-up to St Patrick’s Day (Friday 17 March).
It gets even better in April for workers in Northern Ireland, England or Wales, as the Easter celebrations create the opportunity for employees to have 16 days away from work using just eight days of leave, if they take off the Monday to Thursday before Good Friday (Friday 7 April) and the remainder of the week following Easter Monday (Monday 10 April). Scots can also join in on the fun for the first week.
All UK workers have the chance to double their time off in Spring, thanks to the Early May Bank Holiday (Monday 1 May) and the coronation of King Charles III (Monday 8 May) if they take off the Tuesday to Friday following both public holidays. Alternatively, workers could just choose one or the other and end up with nine consecutive days off work as the UK weather starts to heat up.
England, Wales and Scotland have another opportunity for a nine-day getaway in the height of summer if they request the rest of the week off after the Summer Bank Holiday (Monday 7 August). Northern Ireland can get the same result if they take off the days surrounding the bank holiday on Wednesday 12 July.
Scotland has one last chance to use the holiday hack for St Andrew’s Day (Thursday 30 November) if they book off Monday through to Wednesday and Friday.
Looking ahead to 2024
Early planning could see shrewd employees take full advantage of their time off through 2024 by applying the same strategy.
Easter holidays open up the chance again for a 16-day break, if workers use their annual leave from Monday to Thursday before Good Friday (Friday 29 March) and Tuesday to Friday after Easter Monday (Monday 1 April). Scotland also has another chance for a nine-day break.
Mental health benefits
“Employee wellbeing is an imperative part of a successful workforce, and ensuring a healthy work-life balance goes a long way in helping businesses to achieve that,” said Zoë Morris, President of Frank Recruitment Group. “Holidays allow employees time to de-stress, unwind and relax away from the hustle and bustle that working life can generate.
“Employers should do more to encourage a healthier balance, for example by actively promoting the importance of having time to switch off from work. Simple acts such as sending out an email reminder for employees to use their annual leave, or having managers openly discuss the benefits of using holidays even if it’s just to spend some time at home relaxing, can go a long way towards achieving this, as it communicates to employees that your business recognizes how essential this can be to their wellbeing.
“By having the option of taking prolonged spells away from work using these holiday hacks, whether during the summer or around Easter, it presents the opportunity for employees to recharge their batteries throughout the year, without using up as much of their annual allowance.”
Holiday data was collected from the UK government website ( https://www.gov.uk/bank-holidays). Holidays with (substitute) fall on weekends and the next weekday becomes a bank holiday, normally the following Monday.
As Scotland and Northern Ireland both have devolved powers, the Scottish government and the Northern Ireland Executive can set extra bank holidays. As such, January 2 and St Andrew's Day are bank holidays in Scotland only, while St Patrick's Day and 12 July are bank holidays in Northern Ireland only.