Germany: Left and Greens demand a day off for Sunday holiday

When a public holiday falls on a Sunday in a given year, employees in Germany are simply out of luck. They are not entitled to an extra day off instead, as is often the case in other countries. However, some parties in Germany are calling for changes in this regard.

In Australia, a holiday falling on a Sunday automatically means a Monday off

The calendar layout in 2021 was extremely unfavorable for workers in Germany. However, it also thwarted those who were looking forward to an extra spring day off this year. Unfortunately, May 1 falls on a Sunday this year.

Politicians from the Left and the Greens are advocating that employees be compensated accordingly in the future. Left MP Jan Korte said in an interview with the Rheinische Post newspaper: “Every lost public holiday means more stress and less urgently needed rest from the workload and pandemic.” He announced that the Left Party would take measures to ensure that in the future, holidays would not be lost when the calendar layout is unfavorable to employees.

Beate Müller-Gemmeke, the Green Party’s labor market expert, told the Rheinische Post that it is time to discuss compensation for public holidays falling on Sunday. This has already been introduced in many countries. An example is Australia, where holidays falling on Sunday automatically mean Monday off.

The Left Party has more than once tried to introduce legislation that would compensate workers for days off lost due to an unfavorable calendar arrangement

This demand is nothing new. It was much talked about last year, when an unusually large number of holidays fell on the weekend, including May 1, German Unity Day celebrated on October 3, and Christmas. Therefore, in February 2021, politicians from different parties advocated giving holidays on a different date instead.

The Left Party in the Bundestag had already attempted several times before the outbreak of the pandemic to introduce appropriate regulations to compensate employees for days off lost due to the unfavorable calendar arrangement. In 2018, it pointed out in a motion filed on this issue that more than 85 countries have compensation regulations in place for public holidays falling on Sundays.


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