"It is illegal in Britain, and in the rest of the European Union, for an employee voluntarily to forgo a day of his holiday entitlement in return for an extra day’s pay. This prohibition is justified on the fashionable pretext of ‘protecting the vulnerable’; it prevents employers from coercing employees into working when they would prefer to use their holiday entitlement. Yet, to avoid the small risk of such a breach of contract, for which remedies already exist, this prohibition forces employees who might prefer an extra day’s pay to take a holiday instead. It imposes the preferences of legislators (who certainly seem to enjoy their holidays) on the entire population, including those who do not share them. Knowing nothing of your circumstances or tastes, they still believe they know how many days’ holiday you should take. And not only that. They also know how you should while away your leisure time (not in a private cigar bar, for example), how you should earn a living (not by selling sex to willing buyers, for example) and all manner of other things that you might think individuals were better able to decide for themselves. The cost of this oppression falls not only on those whose preferred choices are outlawed, but also often on the wider population. The War on Drugs provides the most obvious example. The abstemious also pay for our governments’ attempts to ensure that all intoxication is caused by alcohol. Their taxes fund the enforcement and healthcare costs (illegally produced drugs are more dangerous), and they suffer from the violence produced by criminals battling for control of local black markets. Then, after all this, prohibitions often fail to achieve their goals. Ecstasy pills are so readily available in London that their price has fallen to £3 or less."
What is a Holiday?
A day of festivity or recreation when no work is done
- A day off work as part of an allowance
- A national holiday in which people are not required to work
- Holy days (religious days)
- National days
- Commemorative days
- Paid leave above minimum holidays required by law.
- Unpaid leave
Why is not OK to work 23:59 on a public holiday, but OK to work 2 minutes later at 00:01 the next day?
What’s wrong with making people take holidays?
It is illegal for an employee voluntarily to forgo a day of his holiday entitlement in return for an extra day’s pay. Does the compulsion of law really need to be used for this purpose?
Legislators knowing nothing of your circumstances or tastes - how do they know how many holidays you want?
Do part timers need holidays? They don't work a full week as it is?
Arguments against removing forced holidays
- Holidays protect the vulnerable
Holidays hurt the vulnerable, those who are only just making ends meet, may wish to sacrifice a holiday for more pay, cannot do so.
- We all need a common time off for family gatherings, such as Sundays
This can be agreed on the employment contract if it is important to the employee. No need for the law to determine these days.
Removing forced holidays can have positive externalities
- The economy would be larger
- There would be less wastage
Holidays are a result of a productive society, not a government edict, this is why most firms offer more holidays than the statutory minimum. As the private sector raise these over time, the government sets the minimum a little below the norm.
Source of income and jobs
Forcing holidays is futile
- People can incorporate into companies as part owner where they are not a normal employee subject to normal rules.
- In an international marketplace companies like to set up operations where the workforce are efficient. Having extra holidays needs to be backed up by being more productive than your international counterparts. Otherwise jobs will be moved where holidays are not an issue.
- Students who work, will just study in the holidays and work during the other days to keep up their minimum income, they will be no better off, just the activity during the week will be re-arranged to suit the law.
- People can often work harder before and after holidays, making them more exhausted.
- It keeps poor people poor by reducing their productive capacity
- Environmentally it is not good practice to have infrastructure not being used for periods.
- It has a double cost for firms with extra admin to comply with law, but less staff hours to do it in.
Forced holidays across borders
Different countries have different forced holidays. Which country gets it right?
- Why are some days holidays and other not? who decides?
The forced holidays are a result of a mindset of paternalism, which is knowing best what other people need more than they do.
Employers attitudes to forced holidays
Employers do not have a single personality. Some industries benefit from them and some do not. Sometimes tourist industries get a pass.
Owner/employer companies might prefer it to catch up on administration or take a break. However if the company is given the choice they can make it for themselves.
Workers attitudes to forced holidays
Workers are often not made aware of the full costs of forced holidays. So generally for it. Employers spread pay to be equal amounts over the year regardless of holidays. However an employer will be evaluating an employees worth to the company and pay accordingly. If it was put to an employee if they would rather have some time off or extra money, some would undoubtedly choose to work some of those days. If it was made clearer the cost of the days off attitudes may change.
Consumers attitudes to forced holidays
Again consumers are not one of one mind. Some find the holidays annoying but agree with it, others do not. Others have mixed feelings, not likening the reduced ability to shop but liking the roads are more empty.
Producer determined holidays
Some companies offer more holidays than the statutory minimum, or even the norm. They do this to entice workers with the work life balance.
Producer determined holidays
Some employees, are only willing to take positions that are part time, or have certain days off.
- If people are made of their existing employment rights that they should not be forced to work days they don't have to, or how to ask what they want in their employment contract, why would forced holidays be necessary?
- An alternative to forced national holidays, people could decide which days they take off that suits their religion or beliefs.
- We will see a juxtaposition and blurring between what is work and what is not
- We will see a juxtaposition and blurring between working more hours in a day invading private life and more compulsory holidays