Workers Memorial Day – Official recognition in the UKThursday, February 4th, 2010
The Government announced on 29 January that the UK will officially recognise Workers Memorial Day on 28 April each year to commemorate the thousands of people who have died, been seriously injured or made ill through their work.
Workers Memorial Day originated in Canada in 1984. The day is also recognised in other countries and, in 19 countries, is recognised as a national day.
There have been an increasing number of commemorative events in the UK in recent years as Workers Memorial Day has become a focal point for bereaved families, unions, campaign organisations and local authorities, among others. As more people have become involved in these events, there has been growing support for formal recognition of the Day. The DWP published a consultation document that explored various options for official recognition and a summary of the responses has now been issued.
The Government will promote and publicise the Workers Memorial Day commemorations each year on the Directgov website and, via Directgov, on a range of other Government websites.
Although consideration was given as to whether the day should be a bank holiday, the idea did not have widespread support among the responses received. In particular, it was felt that a bank holiday would not fit with the ethos of Workers Memorial Day, with its strong emphasis on commemorating the Day in the workplace.
Official recognition for Workers Memorial Day in the UK
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