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The BBC's Dharshini David
"British employees have the longest working week in Europe"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 2 January, 2001, 08:40 GMT
Call for extra bank holiday
City bankers
Returning to work after Christmas can be depressing
As people in the UK returned to work on Tuesday, a report says that nearly three in four people want 2 January to become an official bank holiday.

Workers in Scotland get an extra day off to recover from the New Year celebrations.

People in the rest of the UK are now calling for the same treatment, according to the ICM Research poll.

The report points out that the UK has just eight bank holidays each year, fewer than other countries in Europe.

The Italians have 16 bank holidays, the French have 11, and the Spanish and Germans have 14.

The survey of 1,002 adults was carried out for online travel agent Expedia.co.uk as part of its Campaign for More Bank Holidays.

Nearly half of those who said they wanted 2 January to become a bank holiday throughout the UK said that dark mornings and short days made returning to work the most depressing part of New Year.

"Employees in the UK work longer hours than the rest of Europe but have fewer bank holidays, so it's only fair that our entitlement is increased to match European levels," said Liz Harding, head of the campaign.

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