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Emancipation Day bank holiday

EDM (Early Day Motion) 311: tabled on 19 July 2022

Tabled in the 2022-23 session.

This motion has been signed by 12 Members. It has not yet had any amendments submitted.

Motion text

That this House believes workers in the UK currently receive an inadequate number of bank holidays, as British workers get four fewer public holidays than the EU average; notes that in 2021 there were 17 public holidays in Japan, 12 in Australia and 11 in China and New Zealand compared to just 8 in the UK; holds that all UK workers deserve more bank holidays and a perfect bank holiday date to commemorate is Emancipation Day on 1 August; further notes that Emancipation Day celebrates the passage of the Slavery Abolition Act 1833 which, after decades of organised struggle, gave all slaves in the British empire their freedom, albeit after a set period of years; recognises the story of Emancipation is of a mass movement struggling against the intransigence of vested interests, as slaveholders were compensated with today’s equivalent of £17 billion, which was not paid off by the British public until 2015, whilst freed slaves were continually exploited and made to work as unpaid apprentices; further holds that, whilst the legacy of Emancipation Day showcases the reluctance of the colonial state against the bravery of committed activists, it is vital to highlight this chapter of the UK's collective past because present day injustices are inseparable from the historical origins of racism, imperialism and oppression; recognises many of Britain’s former colonies celebrate Emancipation Day with either a bank holiday or a day of cultural activities; and calls on the Government to commemorate 1 August as an Emancipation Day bank holiday.