A boss who is insisting his 80 staff work during the royal wedding is urging other business leaders to back his campaign to keep Britain moving and open as normal on 29 April.
Jim Venables, MD of officebroker.com , is refusing to acknowledge the extra bank holiday and for has told his staff it will be business as usual.
He believes the extra day off will cost businesses millions in lost revenue and, while he wishes the royal couple well, he is not prepared to shut up shop for the day.
Mr Venables has questioned why William and Kate can’t get married on a Saturday like everyone else and is unable to understand why the government, who has claimed SMEs will bring the economy back to life, have decided to grind the country to a halt for the day.
He is now calling on other employers to follow his lead and refuse to close their business down on April 29.
Last year Mr Venables, whose nickname amongst his staff is “Orribles”, made local headlines when he gave his team half a day off to watch England’s World Cup clash against Slovenia. But it seems his patriotism does not extend to next month’s royal occasion.
Mr Venables said: “I think the royal family are a fantastic tourist attraction for the UK and when I did the tour of Buckingham Palace I was very impressed.
“But businesses are being forced to take a day off when there’s simply no need for it. There seems to be an assumption from the Government that everyone in the UK cares and that’s not the truth.
“April is already a short month with two bank holidays so why add a third? The effects on businesses will be crippling. Shortening our month means reducing our revenue and that’s really, really annoying. Shutting down on that Friday could cost my business up to £50,000 in lost revenue, plus the additional cost of paying staff on that day.
“Other businesses seem to share my opinion. A new report has highlighted that one in three office workers in the capital and one in four elsewhere in the UK are still unsure as to whether their bosses will give them the day off. It will be interesting on the actual day to see just how many business owners let their staff take the day off.
“I wish the young couple all the very best but I can’t see why they don’t get married on a Saturday like everyone else does and that would solve the whole problem. Instead there seems to be the attitude of, ‘I know what we’ll do, we’ll close the whole country down for the day!’
“Well we’re not having it. We will be working like it’s any other day, just getting on with it. I hope other managers will do the same. Why should businesses suffer?”
Based in Tamworth, Staffs, Mr Venables’ 80 strong company officebroker.com is the UK’s leading online finder of office space for businesses.
Mr Venables said he felt he had the support of his team. He added: “We have a great team here and they all understand the commercial pressures that businesses face. I haven’t had any complaints about the decision. They all call me ‘Orribles’ anyway so there’s probably been a bit of banter about it but nothing I can’t take.”
An insider at officebroker.com’s Tamworth HQ said: “I suppose we’ll watch the highlights on the telly when we get home. It’s fair enough really. I mean I didn’t expect Prince William to ground his helicopter on my wedding day so why would he expect me to put my feet up all day?”
Operations manager Liz Yorke added: “When the date was announced, two of my staff immediately booked off the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday as annual leave to try to take advantage of all the bank holidays. They were none too pleased when I told them they had to book it off if they wanted not to work it!”
For more info on the campaign please visit – www.keepbritainmoving.com .