The busy atmosphere surrounding the anticipated royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, banking holidays and the Alternative Vote (AV) referendum (on the U.K.’s electoral system) is is putting stress on working parents in the UK.
The Royal Wedding, set on the 29th of April, was declared a “bank holiday,” while Easter weekend falls a week prior to the Royal Wedding. Thus, the standard two-week Easter holiday has been extended into a full-month vacation for schoolchildren, which means that these kids will be spending only six days in school for the entire month of April.
Says Joycellyn Akuffo, a spokesperson for a campaign group called “Mothers Who Work,” most parents might be forced to take a leave of absence to tend to their kids during the holidays. “Parents cannot afford too much time off,” she said. “The school calendar is hard enough to manage for working parents as it is. With this extended Easter break combined with the cost of living, mums and dads are being put through unnecessary stress. They are already on tenterhooks with the state of the economy and the fear of losing their jobs.”
With three working days remaining, travel agencies have started promoting special deals to entice workers to simply request for an additional three days off, to have an 11-day vacation. Small businesses, however, fear the effect on their income.
Says a representative from the U.K. Department of Education, “'It's unfortunate that all of these holidays have fallen so close together but it could not have been avoided.”
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SOURCES: • April 4, 2011. Heidi Blake. “Parents face childcare nightmare as Royal wedding, Easter holidays and AV referendum shut schools” Telegraph.co.uk • February 14, 2011. Libby Zay. “Royal Wedding Break in London: Four Public Holidays in 11 Days” News.Travel.AOL.com • March 18, 2011. ‘Chaotic’ Easter holidays cause headache for parents as schools close for almost a month” DailyMail.co.uk