Leisure Time in Britain

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Leisure Time in Britain HOLIDAYS Nearly all British people in full-time jobs have at least a four-week-holiday a year, often in two or three separate periods. The normal working week is 35-40 hours, Monday to Friday. People who have to work in shifts with `unsocial` hours are paid extra for the inconvenience. More overtime is done (at extra pay) than in most other Western European countries, but there is relatively little `moonlighting`- that is, independent work for pay in leisure hours. (Another way of saying this is that the `black economy`, involving work paid privately in cash and not officially recorded or taxed, is relatively small.) There are only eight official public holidays a year, only one of them in the six months before Christmas. None of them celebrates anything to do with state or nation, though the first Monday in May was made a `bank holiday` (national holiday) by a recent Labour government as the British holiday in honour of working people. The most obvious - and traditional - British holiday destination is the coast. No place in the country is more than three hours away. The coast is full of variety, with good cliffs and rocks between the beaches, but the uncertain weather and cold sea are serious disadvantages. Also, two weeks in a hotel room with balcony and private bath can now cost less in Spain or Greece, with flight included, than the same in a British hotel. Most of the hotels in the numerous seaside resort towns were built in the railway age, ...

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