The decision has been described as an insult to the people who sacrificed their lives in the Second World War. The Government set the new date of Friday May 8, to mark the start of a three-day weekend of celebrations to to commemorate the surrender of Germany to the Allies. A Scottish Government circular has been issued to local authorities and health boards recommending they fall into line with the revised date.
NHS Borders and NHS Grampian are planning a holiday on VE Day, while several other Scottish health boards have yet to publish their 2020-2021 holiday calendar.
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie was shocked by NHS Fife’s decision, which he described as “ill-advised”.
Mr Rennie, who is the MSP for North East Fife, said: “It was not much to ask for the bank holiday in May to be moved just a few days to the exact day 75 years ago when victory in Europe was achieved over Nazi Germany.
“It is to be a national coming together to remember those who sacrificed their tomorrows for our todays.
“Yet the NHS in Fife will miss out on that national opportunity to remember.
“It’s a bit of an insult and this decision should be reversed without delay.”
Local authorities across Scotland are to recognise the revised date, meaning schools and council departments will take it as a holiday
Despite recommending the change, the Scottish Government stressed that such decisions remain a local matter for each NHS Scotland board.
Paul Hawkins, the chief executive at NHS Fife, denied the board’s decision was a snub to commemoration plans.
He said: “The decision to maintain the traditional May Day holiday date was taken in partnership with staff-side representatives and approved at the board’s Area Partnership Forum meeting in September.”
The NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde website states that the “public holidays for 2020-2021 have now been agreed by the Area Partnership Forum”.