Petition PublicHoliday on Hindus special two religious occasions in a year:Diwali&Dussera

This will give an opportunity for Hindu families to get together and share happiness with other religious communities. It is very important for Hindus to celebrate Diwali and also Diwali — Festival of Lights is a major holiday that is also celebrated by Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs.

More details

Hinduism in England is the third largest religion in the country, with over 806,000 followers as of the 2011 Census. This represents over 1.5% of the English population, up from 1.1% the previous decade. Hindus are predominantly in the cities of London and Leicester, where they make up greater proportions of the population(Hindu Enclaves, also known as Hindu Hotspots).
Hindus don't get a lawful Public Holiday on their two special religious occasions in a year 1. Diwali and 2. Dussera

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Parliament debated this topic

This topic was debated on 29 October 2018

Religious occasions martyn day

Government responded

This response was given on 3 July 2018

The Government has no plans to create a public holiday to commemorate religious festivals such as Diwali. The costs are considerable. The cost of the 2012 Diamond Jubilee holiday was around £1.2bn.

Read the response in full

The Government is committed to bringing people together in strong, united communities. We encourage and support people to have shared aspirations, values and experiences. Festivals such as Diwali and Dussehra contribute towards this objective. We regret however that we cannot agree to create new bank or public holiday to mark these festivals.

The Government regularly receives requests for additional bank and public holidays to celebrate a variety of occasions including religious festivals. However the current pattern is well established and accepted.

Whilst an additional bank holiday may benefit some communities and sectors, the cost to the economy of an additional bank holiday remains considerable. The most recent estimate following an impact assessment for the additional holiday for the Diamond Jubilee is that a bank holiday (across the UK as a whole) costs employers around £1.2bn.

Workers in the UK are entitled to 28 days holiday each year. Employers are under no legal obligation to grant a religious-based request for time off. However Government's policy is to encourage employers to respond flexibly and sympathetically to any requests for leave, including requests for religious holidays, bearing in mind business needs. ACAS provides detailed guidance for employers about religious festivals and holy days on its website.

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Other parliamentary business

Change to debate start time

This debate will now be starting at 5.30pm, instead of the usual 4.30pm. This is to avoid clashing with the Budget Statement.

You can watch it at http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Commons. A transcript will be published the following day at https://hansard.parliament.uk

Share your views on public holidays for religious occasions

We've already told you that MPs will debate this and one other petition about holding public holidays on religious occasions on Monday 29 October.

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MPs to debate petitions about religious holidays on Monday 29 October

The Petitions Committee (the group of MPs who oversee the petitions system) met today and agreed to schedule a debate on religious holidays, based on two separate but related petitions:

Public Holiday on Muslims religious occasions in the UK(Eid ul Fitr&Eid ul Adha - https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/220501

PublicHoliday on Hindus special two religious occasions in a year:Diwali&Dussera - https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/221860

The Committee has scheduled this debate because there were no new petitions which had reached the 100,000 signatures required to be considered for debate. Although the petitions together have not reached the 100,000 signatures usually required to be considered for debate, the Petitions Committee recognised that this is a subject that affects many different religious groups, and that individually they may find it harder to meet the 100,000 signature threshold.

The debate will take place on Monday 29 October, and will start at 4.30pm. You can watch it at http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Commons. A transcript will be published the following day at https://hansard.parliament.uk

You can follow the Petitions Committee on Twitter @HoCpetitions.

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