As the UK prepares itself for a probable general election in the first half of this year, the Sunday Times reports that the government will be tempting voters with an extra bank holiday as part of its aim to improve the nation's work-life balance.
Downing Street policy advisers believe a ninth bank holiday could be a significant gesture towards encouraging working parents to spend more time with their children. Labour plans to make the issue of childcare a key plank of its agenda for a third term in power.
The gesture is likely to cost business £1.5 billion in lost productivity, Confederation of British Industry estimates suggest, as most employers would be obliged to pay workers for the day.
The strongest bet for the date of the new holiday is during the autumn to break the long 117-day gap between the end of summer and Christmas.