The government has announced that there will be an additional bank holiday on Monday 19 September to coincide with the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth ll.
Given that we are just a week away from the bank holiday, you will need to quickly decide how you are going to manage this across your organisation. If you are closing for the day will you give everyone a discretionary extra day's holiday or require them to use a day's leave? And if you're not closing how will you decide who can take the day off and how will you deal with competing demands?
The starting point is to look at the holiday clause in the employee’s contract of employment. We’ve set out below the most commonly used clauses relating to bank holidays and explain whether your staff are entitled to another extra day’s paid leave this year. We’ve referred to 20 days holiday (equivalent to four weeks for people working full-time) to reflect commonly worded clauses for full-time employees. However, your contracts may specify a different number of days to reflect an employee’s part-time hours or their entitlement to additional contractual holiday.
Does this give the employee the right to an extra day’s paid leave?
‘20 days holiday per year plus bank and public holidays’ or ‘four weeks holiday per year plus bank and public holidays’
Yes – the employee can take the extra bank holiday on the day it falls unless there is another provision somewhere in the contract which allows you to ask the employee to work on some bank holidays which you decide to exercise.
Even if you can postpone the holiday, the extra day will be added to the employee’s annual entitlement this holiday year.
‘20 days holiday per year plus bank and public holidays that are normally observed in England and Wales’ or ‘four weeks holiday per year plus bank and public holidays that are normally observed in England and Wales’
No – the contract only includes bank and public holidays that are ‘normally observed’ which amount to eight days in England and Wales. The bank holiday on Monday 19 September isn’t normally observed and the employee isn’t entitled to take it unless they use one of their existing 20 days holiday.
’20 days holiday per year plus New Years Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, early May bank holiday, spring bank holiday, summer bank holiday, Christmas day and Boxing day
No – the contract sets out the standard eight bank holidays only.
‘28 days holiday per year’ or ‘5.6 weeks holiday per year’
No – the number of days paid holiday is fixed and the employee isn’t entitled to an extra day’s paid leave.
If the employee wants to take time off on a bank holiday, they must make a holiday request unless their contract specifies that they are required to take bank holidays off.
If the employee choses to take Monday 19 September off this will count as a day's leave and will be deducted from their allowance.
If your contracts of employment contain different provisions, please speak to one of our team if you’re not sure about whether you have to legally allow staff to take an additional day’s leave or want advice about how to manage leave requests.
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