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      No coronation bank holiday for public sector workers in Shetland: councilors

      ByMonelo Gabriel

      Feb 14, 2023

      Shetland councilors have rejected a bank holiday for the coronation of King Charles.

      The coronation will take place on May 6, however an additional bank holiday has been scheduled for Monday May 8 where people are encouraged to volunteer in their communities.

      But councilors on the council’s policy and resources committee unanimously agreed on Monday not to give public sector workers the extra day off, citing the current financial pressures facing the local authority.

      The council has previously warned its community that cuts will be necessary to save money in 2023/24.

      The impact the day off would have on pupils at the school was also cited as a reason for rejecting the holidays.

      National holidays are a delegated matter for councils in Scotland to decide and there was no legal obligation for the local authority to recognize them as a public holiday.

      However, according to official council documents, the impact of rejecting an additional holiday on worker morale was considered.

      Granting the extra holiday would have cost an estimated £91,907 based on wage costs for 2022/23, councilors heard.

      The councilors chose not to grant the extra day, but will allow public sector employees to reserve a day off if they wanted to join in the celebrations.

      Other options included granting the holiday and closing non-essential services, including schools.

      A spokesman for Shetland Council said: “Councillors took a decision in policy and resources committee yesterday not to grant an additional day’s leave in view of the current financial pressures facing council.

      “Concerns were also raised about school pupils missing another day of learning as a result of schools closing to accommodate the extra day of leave.

      “City Hall staff who plan to work on Monday, May 8 and who wish to join the celebrations can book annual vacations in the usual way.

      “Managers are encouraged to grant licenses where possible, based on the needs of the service.”

      The local authority had previously recognized a single bank holiday for Queen Elizabeth’s state funeral last year.


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