Belief in time off work

Secularism (laïcité) – the prevailing norm that you can believe what you want (just don’t share it with the rest of us) – comes something of a cropper at holiday time.

4 April 2017

Of the 11 national public holidays a year, six derive from the Catholic Christian tradition and none from Judaism or Islam. Many people are only dimly aware that certain days are linked to the ecclesiastical calendar (other days, like Christmas, are a bit more obvious) but that is not the point: for a day off work to be given official status it must not be related to religion. The solution, therefore, is not to add more different faith-based holidays but to rename the existing days off so they no longer have a connection to Christianity. Then, as far as practicable, all workers should be given the right to take an allocated number of days off work when then they want, so that they can observe their own religious feast days at their discretion.

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