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Public Holidays

Volume 506: debated on Monday 22 February 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the cost to his Department of the introduction of an additional public holiday; and if he will make a statement. (315121)

We have made no estimate of the cost of an additional public holiday. Salary costs are fixed and would be unchanged. Military pay already takes account of the need to work unsocial and additional on-call hours as required, and elements of our Armed Forces already undertake duties on certain public holidays. While it might be necessary for some civilians in key roles to work on the public holiday, we would seek to minimise the cost to the Department by encouraging them to take time off in lieu, as is the MOD's current working practice. Similarly, we plan activities in advance to minimise disruption.

There would be some compensating savings, for example from reduced consumption of utilities, such as electricity, at MOD premises.