Written by: Keith Tully
Published: 14th June 2019
The switching of next year’s early May bank holiday will cost a company that makes calendars in the region of £200,000, according to the business.
It was announced recently that a bank holiday scheduled for Monday 4th May 2020 will officially be moved to Friday 8th May to coincide with the 75th anniversary of VE Day and the defeat of Nazi Germany towards the end of the Second World War.
But that change has been bad news for Allan & Bertram, which has said that it will now need to replace the May 2020 pages in close to 400,000 individual calendars that it has already had printed.
Andrew Bennett, managing director at the calendar company, has said he backs the move to switch the bank holidays in acknowledgment of VE Day but suggested that he and his business would’ve appreciated rather more advance warning about the government’s intentions on the issue.
He told the BBC that he’s had “probably the single most stressful week that I have ever faced in business”, since learning of the plan to change the holiday.
“We’re totally in agreement with changing the date,” he said. “Just not changing it with 11 months’ notice, when you’ve had 74 years to prepare for this event.”
Mr Bennett went on to point out that in a similar situation the government gave more than a year’s notice in advance of a change to bank holidays in 1995 when the 50th anniversary of VE Day was being commemorated.
“They announced that in December 1993. That was absolutely fine,” Mr Bennett said. “There was no reason why this decision couldn’t have been made 18 months ago.”
The consequences for Allan & Bertram are set to be costly, with extra staff needing to be employed to help swap out May 2020 pages in many thousands of calendars, and existing staff being asked to work double shifts for the same reason.
The company has said that while it would’ve been much easier and less expensive to leave its calendars unchanged, it would’ve been too damaging to its reputation to sell products that contained inaccurate information.
The British Printing Industry Federation has said that the government should have consulted with representatives of organisations likely to be impacted by next year’s bank holiday switch.
“A number of members will lose money due to calendars and diaries for 2020 being printed already,” said Dave Wallis, managing director of the printing industry trade body.
“This could cause serious cash flow issues, and therefore other issues for those businesses affected.”
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