Petition Make Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha public holidays
Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha are two of the most important festivals in the Muslim calendar. They are celebrated by Muslims around the world, including in the UK. These festivals are a time of joy and reunion. I urge the UK Government to make Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha public holidays.
By making Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha as public holidays, the UK can demonstrate its commitment to inclusivity and respect for diversity.
It would also provide an opportunity for Muslims to celebrate and enjoy their festivals with their families and friends.
Muslims contribute significantly to the social, cultural, and economic life of the UK.
Their festivals should be acknowledged and celebrated as important events in our national calendar.
This response was given on 26 May 2023
While the Government recognises the importance of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha and the valuable contribution Muslims make to this country, it has no plans to make these festivals bank holidays.
Read the response in full
The Government acknowledges the importance of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha to Muslims in the UK, providing an opportunity for friends, families and communities to come together and celebrate.
The Government recognises the incredible contribution the Muslim community makes to this country. Whether in business, the media or public service, British Muslims help to make this country the success that it is.
We regret however that we are unable to create new bank holidays for Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. The Government regularly receives requests for additional bank holidays to celebrate a variety of occasions, including for religious festivals. However, our current pattern of regular bank holidays is well established and accepted. There are eight permanent bank holidays in England and Wales, nine in Scotland and ten in Northern Ireland.
While additional bank holidays for Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha may benefit certain communities and sectors, the cost would be considerable. The latest analysis from the impact assessment for The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Bank Holidays estimates the cost to the UK of a (one-off) bank holiday to be around £2 billion.
Additional bank holidays can have implications across the public sector, such as school closures, disruption to health and social care services and disruption to the courts and tribunals.
Full time workers in the UK are entitled to 28 days statutory paid holiday each year and legislation does not give employees a right to time off on bank holidays. While employers are under no legal obligation to grant religious based requests for time off, the Government’s policy is to encourage employers to respond flexibly and sympathetically to any requests for leave (including for religious holidays).
Department for Business and Trade
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