New bank holiday might just be a "once off" 8 months ago

New bank holiday might just be a "once off"

It's still being discussed.

The plans for an extra bank holiday to thank frontline workers for their part in the Covid-19 pandemic could be just a once-off day rather than happening each year.

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According to reports, the government is looking at making the closest Monday to St. Brigid's Day the new bank holiday, meaning it would fall on January 31st of next year.

There have been some groups opposed to the creation of a new bank holiday, mostly from employer groups who don't want to see this as a permanent change.

While a set date for the new bank holiday hasn't been given by Government yet, there is concern still that Ireland will still be dealing with high levels of covid cases by February.

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According to the Irish Independent, there has been some thought into the idea of making St. Patrick's day a four day weekend.

Speaking at an event commemorating Irish revolutionary Wolfe Tone in Kildare, Taoiseach Micheál Martin did not deny that the bank holiday would fall around St. Brigid's Day.

"The last time I was in Kildare with Fiona [O'Loughlin], I was taken to various centres that were, how will I put it, very affirming of St Bridget’s role in this county," Martin said.

"But it remains to be seen how government will decide ultimately on that matter along with a range of other matters in that context."

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The Government has been working alongside unions and employer groups to find a way to thank frontline workers for the role they played in the pandemic and the work they carried out.

Looking at other ways to thank workers for their contribution, the minimum wage was increased by 30c to €10.10 in the last Budget but there has been no formal announcement about any extra pay for workers or the introduction of a bank ­holiday.

Many businesses have shown concern over the cost of a permanent bank holiday as many are still either struggling or recovering from the effects of the pandemic.

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