We know it’s still 2020, but I think we can all agree it’s been a pretty tough year for everyone, so you can’t hold it against anyone for wanting to plan ahead and make the most of the holidays in 2021. And what better way to make the most of your time off than to transform it from 28 days to 53. When it comes to Bank Holidays and annual leave, the UK workforce have an ok deal, with an average entitlement of 28 days per year (20 days annual leave and 8 bank holidays). So, not as good as South Korea on 16 days, but definitely better than the USA, which technically has zero.
You may be asking ‘but how do I get to 53?’. Here, we have HR Director and resident math-wiz Rachel Evans from Gear Hungry to provide the answers. ‘Luckily it’s not a case of suggesting you pull a load of sick days. Essentially, you need to book your days off around Bank Holidays and weekends, so you accumulate large periods of time off as opposed to a few days here and there. To be clear, this isn’t a guide that involves sinister actions like placing your work colleagues holiday application in the bin, or pretending to attend a dentist appointment for the 14th time in 6 months, but a system to use if you want to get the most out of your time off.’
Firstly, the 2021 Bank Holidays are –
- Friday 1st January – New Year’s Day
- Friday 2nd April – Good Friday
- Monday 5th April – Easter Monday
- Monday 3rd May – May bank holiday
- Monday 31st May – Spring bank holiday
- Monday 30th August – Summer bank holiday
- Monday 27th December – Christmas Day
- Tuesday 28th December – Boxing Day
‘Like a puzzle, we have the outline of the days we need to work around, and by doing so we can double our days off in 2021 – let us get to work!’
Friday 1st January
‘I’m going to omit this from the breakdown, as it comes straight after a Christmas and New Year’s Eve holiday, and being a stickler for rules, I do still consider this part of the 2019 holiday package.’
April Bank holiday – 16-day break (8 days into 16)
‘This is a welcome little break to have at the beginning of the year, and perfect for an Easter getaway or extended family time with your loved ones, and with strategic planning you can double you time off! Book eight days annual leave in two small chucks from 29th March to the 1st April, and then 6th to 9th of April, and as you have two bank holidays on the 2nd and 5th of April you’ll be totaling 16 consecutive days away from work, including 3 weekends. Time off from Saturday 27th March to Sunday 11th April and only using 8 days annual leave? That’s the perfect amount of time to recover from all that easter chocolate’.
May Bank holidays – double the fun (8 days into 19)
‘By now you’re nearly halfway through the year and – if you’re anything like me – probably miles away mentally dreaming of long weekend breaks away. Luckily May has two bank holidays that you can work around to get extended time off, using 4 days annual leave to get nine, and the best part is you can do it twice! At the beginning of May on the 3rd, the UK has a bank holiday that turns your 4-day break to nine, if you book from Tuesday 4th to Friday 9th, so consecutively you’ll be off from the 1st till the 9th of May. And then at the end of the month you can do exactly the same thing with the 31st Bank Holiday. Book off the 1st of June to the 4th, and once again get nine consecutive days off from the 29th of May to the 6th of June. Perfect for Americans wanting to celebrate Independence Day, or Brits wanting to celebrate the 4 days of sun we get every year.’
August Bank Holiday – Summertime Holiday (4 days into 9)
‘By now, you should be getting the hang of how to make the most of your annual leave, and as it’s now August, you’re probably looking to get away and enjoy some hot weather abroad. Make the most of your time off by once again stretching four days of annual leave into nine consecutive days off. The summer bank holiday falls on Monday 30th of August, so you’ll be looking to take you time off from Tuesday 31st August to Friday 3rd September, giving you nine days away from your desk from 28th August to 5th September. A welcome break to enjoy the last few days of summer’.
December Bank Holiday – no more winter blues (3 days into 10)
‘The Christmas break can feel like it’s already over by boxing day, as the mince pies run out, and the dread of returning to the office sinks in. Fortunately, there’s a way to prolong the festive period for a bit longer, so you’ll have more time to watch Netflix Christmas films and eat leftover turkey. The Christmas bank holidays fall on Monday the 27th and Tuesday the 28th, so for a few extra days off with your family, you can book the 29th to the 31st of December, giving you 10 days off straight!