No coronation bank holiday for public sector workers on Shetland – councillors

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A bank holiday for the coronation of King Charles has been rejected by councillors in Shetland.

The coronation is due to take place on May 6, however, an additional bank holiday had been scheduled for Monday May 8, where people were encouraged to volunteer in their communities.

But councillors at the council’s policy and resources committee on Monday unanimously agreed not to grant public sector workers with the additional day off, citing the current financial pressures facing the local authority.

The council has previously warned its community that cuts will be necessary to save money in 2023/24.

National holidays are a devolved matter for councils in Scotland to decide on and there was no legal obligation for the local authority to recognise it as a public holiday.

However, according to official council papers, the impact of rejecting an additional public holiday on workers’ morale was considered.

Awarding the additional holiday would have cost an estimated £91,907 based on salary costs for 2022/23, councillors heard.

Councillors opted not to grant the additional day but will allow public sector employees to book a day’s leave if they wanted to join the celebrations.

Other options included granting the holiday and closing non-essential services, including schools.

“Concerns were also expressed about school pupils losing another day of learning as a result of schools being closed to accommodate the additional day’s leave.

“Council staff who are scheduled to work on Monday May 8 and who wish to join the celebrations can book annual leave in the usual way.

“Managers are encouraged to grant leave where possible, in line with the needs of the service.”

The local authority had previously recognised a one-off bank holiday for the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth last year.

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