The tourism and leisure sector would benefit from adding three new bank holidays to the annual calendar, especially one in the autumn, claims the TUC.
"The UK has only eight bank holidays," said general secretary Brendan Barber. "The Government is rightly going to give these to all staff on top of annual leave, but the economy could easily cope with the three extra bank holidays needed to bring us up to the European average of 11."
But a spokesman for the Federation of Small Businesses said that such a move would have cost implications for smaller firms. He felt that any demands for extra holidays should be balanced against the needs and productivity of the UK as a whole.
The TUC also wants the law strengthened to entitle staff who work over bank holidays to receive extra pay or paid time off in lieu.