The year 2022 has not yet begun, but it is already clear that it will not be employee-friendly. Of the nine public holidays across Germany, three fall on a weekend: New Year’s Day, May 1 and the first day of Christmas, December 25.
2022 anyway, a more gracious year than the current one
However, in 2021, this is the case for as many as four public holidays. According to calculations by the Federal Statistical Office in Wiesbaden, employees in Germany will have an average of 0.4 more days off in 2022 than in the current year. What’s more, compared to 2021, there will be one more Saturday in the coming year.
And unlike in 2021, two church holidays also fall on working days in the new year, which in several federal states will allow students and employees to enjoy a day off. These are the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, celebrated on August 15, and Reformation Day, celebrated on October 31. Next year, on the other hand, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve fall on a Saturday.
More working days translate into economic growth
In other countries, the situation for workers is much better: if a holiday falls on a weekend in the UK, Spain or Ireland, for example, you usually have a day off on Monday instead. In Belgium and Luxembourg companies have to decide themselves on which working day to give their employees off.
However, the number of working days has a measurable impact on the economy. In the first year of the coronavirus pandemic, for example, 3.7 days were worked in 2020, or 1.49 percent more than in 2019, says Timo Wollmershäuser, head of economic research at the Ifo institute in Munich. “According to calculations by the Federal Statistical Office, this resulted in GDP growth that was 0.37 percentage points higher.
It won’t be until 2024 that the year will be truly employee-friendly again. Then not a single one of the nine public holidays in Germany will fall on a weekend. So the only thing left for employees to do is to be patient and nevertheless enter the New Year with a positive attitude!