The New Year has not started on a particularly exciting note for many working professionals, who look forward to extended holidays or a break in between the week.

To start with, January 1st fell on a Saturday. Two more holidays – Pongal and Tiruvalluvar Day – this month fall on weekends. Some other national holidays such as May Day, Gandhi Jayanti and Christmas will fall on Sundays.

There are 24 holidays in the State government's list of public holidays for 2011, which includes national holidays, festivals and annual closing of accounts for commercial and co-operative banks. But of these, five fall on Sundays.

A majority of private organisations have 10 compulsory holidays in a year, but if festivals or national holidays fall on weekends, they declare a holiday on a subsequent day. Infosys Technologies, for instance, has declared Monday (January 17) a holiday because Pongal falls on a Saturday.

A few other IT companies have sent e-mails to their employees asking them to make a choice of one holiday at their discretion as two national holidays this year fall on Sundays.

The mail reads that the chosen day should be communicated in advance; it could be either a personal occasion or a festival day. But if no choice is made, May 30 would be considered a “personal vacation day”.

Many working professionals have decided not to plan any short trips because of the lapse in holidays. Alice Chacko, working with a nationalised bank, agrees the holiday calendar is one of the most discussed things at work and “losing” May 1 and October 2 to weekends is a disappointment.

Bhuvaneswari Chandrasekaran, working with AIR, says even in 2010 many holidays including Vinayaka Chathurthi and Independence Day was “lost” as it fell on Sundays.

“A weekday holiday during festival time especially is something most working women would not want to miss as it helps plan things better,” she adds.

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Liffy ThomasJune 28, 2012

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