Public holidays in the United Kingdom fall into two distinct categories, those still mandated for religious observance, and those now prescribed by the government as general vacation days. Momentarily, public holidays in Britain total eight, and are taken as separate and in addition to employer mandated vacations, which average anywhere between ten and thirty day, dependent on length of employment and individual contract. I am fully cognizant that such state ordained generosity would be considered by U.S. conservative thinkers socialist at minimum, but in actuality that sort of vacation time is near universal outside the borders of the 52 states.
The number of U.K. mandated religious days has decreased in direct correlation to the reduced fervor of the populous, saints days, festivals, outside of Christmas Day and Good Friday being strategically realigned to create a better spread throughout the year. Single days are paired, allowing factories, mines, agricultural facilities to shut down machinery and carry out necessary maintenance, tradition, and commercial sensibility thereby succinctly combined. Emergency services, police, armed forces, take vacation time in a manner suited to not disrupt operations. Same applies to National Health Service hospitals, nursing homes, retirement facilities, and social service establishments.
It is worth noting that those claiming unemployment benefits are fully paid for public holidays, no additional punishment being considered suitable for those no doubt already struggling with financial privation..
Whilst the purpose of public holidays may have changed, now for rest, recreation, and recuperation, rather than organized state worship, the unquestioned acceptance of the need for controlled and mandated work hours and holidays continues the long traditions of compassion and consideration by the powers that be for the wellbeing of the population as a whole, no matter the current governments particular political stripe of persuasion.
Thankfully. the social contract remains alive and well and continues to be the true strength at the core of the kingdom.