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13 social enterprises to give staff day off on St David’s Day

13 social enterprises across Wales have confirmed that they will give their staff a day off to celebrate St David’s Day on the first of March this year. This is a statement of support from the third sector for the growing call for making the day a statutory Bank Holiday in Wales.

Social enterprises who have committed to giving their staff holidays include People and Work, Siop Griffiths, Datblygiadau Egni Gwledig, Menter Môn, Antur Aelhaearn, Canolfan a Theatr Soar, Cwmni Bro Ffestiniog, Together for Change, O Ddrws i Ddrws, Iaith Cyf, Tafarn y Plu and Partneriaeth Ogwen. These initiatives employ over 150 staff in the community regeneration sector across Wales.

People & Work – People & Work is a social enterprise that supports the communities of the Rhondda. Sarah Lloyd-Jones, Director of People and Work said,

“People and Work are proud to give our staff a St David’s Day holiday. As a community enterprise, we see the importance of St David’s Day to our communities and would like to support the call to make the day an official Bank Holiday here in Wales.”

IAITH has been giving St David’s Day as an extra day off for staff since they were established in 1993. According to Kathryn Jones, IAITH’s Director,

“This is a right for the people of Wales to express and celebrate their identity and we are proud to have supported the call since we were established nearly thirty years ago.”

The news comes just weeks after a statement by Gwynedd Council confirming that they will be giving Council staff a holiday on March 1st. According to Dafydd Meurig, Deputy Leader of Gwynedd Council and Chair of the Partneriaeth Ogwen social enterprise in Bethesda.

“The fact that so many social enterprises across Wales are committed to this is a sign of the real commitment to making St David’s Day a national Bank Holiday in Wales. It is about time the Westminster Government gave the Welsh Government the right to give the people of Wales a bank holiday.”

Releasing staff is not easy for everyone in the third sector, with community shops and care initiatives finding it difficult to release staff from their care and retail duties on March 1st. While fully supportive of the principle of giving their staff a bank holiday, many felt that they were not in a position to be able to do so until the day was designated as an official bank holiday day by the Welsh Government. Some initiatives such as the Blas Lon Las siop in Tregarth, Gwynedd have decided to open their community shop on the 1st of March but give their staff an additional holiday allowance in lieu. Other social enterprises such as Galeri, Caernarfon were fully supportive also but could not logistically move forward with the matter this year. They have committed to providing a day off for their 42 staff members in 2023 and will be organising this for next year the other enterprises who rent units at the Galeri.

In the meantime, the above 13 social enterprises are looking forward to allowing their staff to celebrate St David’s Day with their families. Their commitment strengthens the call from the people of Wales for an official Bank Holiday day on the day of our patron saint.