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GMB criticises royal wedding bank holiday ruling

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The GMB has expressed dismay that a local authority has decided against treating the royal wedding as a bank holiday and called on the council to change its mind.

North Ayrshire Council said its 7,000 employees would not be entitled to take 29 April off as a bank holiday, blaming “unprecedented financial challenges” facing the public sector.

The government announced that the day of the royal wedding should be a bank holiday, but the council said it would cost an extra £750,000 to give staff the day off.

The GMB union said it was a “totally unexpected” move, following a similar announcement by some private companies.

Senior official Alex McLuckie said: “GMB members employed by North Ayrshire Council are very disappointed that their employer is not recognising the royal wedding with an additional paid holiday or a bank holiday.

“The day only comes round once in each generation. GMB members will be making representations to North Ayrshire councillors to overturn this decision.”

A spokesman for North Ayrshire Council said: “North Ayrshire Council employees are entitled to 12 public or local holidays each year on top of their annual leave.

“Given the unprecedented financial challenges facing the public sector, the executive took the decision not to treat April 29 as an additional bank holiday. The financial implications of an extra public holiday are estimated at £750,000.

“However, staff who wish to celebrate the royal wedding can request annual leave and managers have been encouraged to approve this leave where possible.”

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