More than a third of businesses in the West Midlands are unhappy about the additional bank holiday to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
The additional day off in June to mark the jubilee wrankles with directors according to the latest Close Business Barometer, a quarterly survey that canvasses the views of more than 500 SME owner-managers across.
Ian Steward, local head of Close Invoice Finance, said: “It is not hard to see why so many firms throughout the region are upset by the extra bank holiday that is being forced upon them in June.
“Businesses in most sectors across the West Midlands face a daily challenge to make ends meet and unfortunately this extra bank holiday means they have no option but to ‘shut up shop’ so to speak, on a day when they would rather be trading, making sales and generating revenue.”
The survey found that forty two per cent of firms are unhappy about the bank holiday but concede there is nothing they can do about it, while an additional six per cent showing strong opposition to the move, saying they are appalled that they stand to lose a day’s work from the festivities, especially given the current economic climate.
Mr Steward added: “Another problem the four-day weekend is causing is the fact that many employees will look to use their annual leave in order to benefit from an extended time off work, with a likelihood that many will look to take a few extra days off either side of the Jubilee celebrations.
“This leaves firms with the unenviable task of trying to find a balance between honouring bank holidays and employees’ annual leave with their daily operational requirements in terms of staffing levels.
"The additional bank holiday in June means many firms are facing the very real possibility of operating with a depleted workforce for nearly a fortnight.”
While it is widely expected that the majority of businesses will be shut for the duration of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, some firms, in particular those in the retail and hospitality sectors, will remain open but be hit by a higher wage bill.
Some businesses may be forced to pay higher hourly wages for staff working during the weekend or on a bank holiday, as well as possibly granting days in lieu to staff that work either Monday 4th or Tuesday 5th June.
Mr Steward concluded; “For many businesses in the current economic climate the additional bank holiday for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee will bring with it financial ramifications that firms could do without.
“However, it is a hugely historic occasion and represents a great opportunity to celebrate a unique part of British culture.”