Councillors in the Shetland Islands have rejected a bank holiday for the Coronation of King Charles III.
An additional bank holiday has been scheduled for Monday May 8, two days after the Coronation, whereby people are encouraged to mark the occasion.
But on Monday, officials at the Shetland Islands Council’s policy and resources committee unanimously agreed not to grant public sector workers with the extra day off, citing the current financial pressures facing the local authority.
The council has previously warned its community that cuts will be necessary to save money in 2023-24.
The impact that the day off school would have on pupils was also cited as a reason to reject the holiday.
National holidays are a devolved matter for councils in Scotland to decide on and there was no legal obligation for Shetland Islands Council to recognise the King’s Coronation as a public holiday.
However, according to official council papers, the impact of rejecting an additional public holiday on workers’ morale was considered.
Awarding the extra holiday would have cost an estimated £91,907 based on salary costs for 2022-23, councillors heard.
Councillors opted not to grant the additional day, but will allow public sector employees to book a day’s leave if they wanted to join the celebrations.
Other options included granting the holiday and closing non-essential services, including schools.
A Shetland Islands Council spokesman said: “Councillors took a decision at the policy and resources committee yesterday not to award an extra day’s leave in view of the current financial pressures facing the council.
“Concerns were also expressed about school pupils losing another day of learning as a result of schools being closed to accommodate the additional day’s leave.
“Council staff who are scheduled to work on Monday May 8 and who wish to join the celebrations can book annual leave in the usual way. Managers are encouraged to grant leave where possible, in line with the needs of the service.”
Last year, the local authority had previously recognised a one-off bank holiday for the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.