When I read opinion pieces like this I wonder if the writer is paid to think:
. . .We get today off simply because it is “the day after New Year’s Day”. At least they could make up a name for “the day after Christmas Day”, aka Boxing Day. Don’t stop there. Why not the day before, as well?
Of course, some businesses will complain because money. Cry me a river. Public holidays are universally loved and drive spending in hospitality, tourism and in the regions. More importantly, they’re a day free (or well paid) of work.
Public holidays might drive some spending in hospitality, tourism and the regions but not always.
We drove from Wanaka to Otahuti and back last Thursday, the second of the New Year public holidays.
We planned to stop for coffee at Five Rivers. The cafe was closed.
We were going to have lunch in Winton. Everything was closed.
We headed north to Lumsden. One cafe was closed, one had queues out the door and the third had a single worker who told us nothing on the lunch menu was available because she couldn’t cook and serve.
Why weren’t more staff on and more cafes open on a public holiday when there were so many travellers? Almost certainly because the extra costs of wages for people who work on a public holiday aren’t covered by the income.
Only sycophantic corporate slaves would argue against days off.
People who have to fund the extra costs of running essential businesses and services on public holidays would also argue against more days off.
This includes hospitals and other health providers, public transport, and rest homes. Then there’s providers of other businesses and services who have to be on call including medical and veterinary clinics and some trades and there’s 24 hour seven day a week businesses that can’t shut down for a holiday, like farms.
New Zealand has a measly 11 public holidays a year. If we were to live in Colombia or Iran, we would have 27! Luxembourg has 11, but also paid special leave for anniversaries, weddings or moving house. Another few days won’t sink the banks. . .
We have 11 public holidays and four weeks annual leave – that’s five and 1/5 working weeks of paid time off.
A business with 10 workers is effectively paying someone to not work every week of the year.
And a business that is closed is making no money while still incurring fixed costs – mortgage, rates, insurance.
I once made the mistake of quipping to my boss I wasn’t paid to think.
He didn’t see the joke and made it very clear I was.
When I first read the piece on more days off I wondered if the writer had his tongue in his cheek. I don’t think he did and if he’s being paid to think he’s short-changing his employer.