Do Employers Have to Give Staff the Extra Bank Holiday?

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The coronation gives cause for national celebrations and the joy for many of an extra bank holiday and time off work.  Since the jubilee last year we have frequently been asked by employees and employers if employers have to give staff the extra bank holidays.  Most employees tend to assume that if there is a bank holiday that falls on their normal working day that this will be given as an additional paid holiday.  However, the position is not as clear cut as that.

There is no specific statutory right to time off, or paid time off, on a bank holiday.  Instead the position will depend upon the terms of the employee’s employment contract.

Bank holiday entitlement

If the employment contract states that an employee is entitled to a specified number of holidays plus bank holidays, then your employees will be entitled to the extra day as holiday.

But if a specified number of holiday days or bank holidays are included i.e. if the contract refers to an employee’s entitlement to 25 days holiday or 20 days’ plus the usual eight bank holidays, then they will not be entitled to the extra day of holiday.

Do I have to pay staff for the extra bank holiday?

If your employees’ contracts mean they are entitled to the extra bank holiday as part of their holiday entitlement, then employers are also obliged to pay them for this day.

Even if the contractual position is that employees are not entitled to an extra paid holiday it is likely that many employers will allow employees the extra paid day off as it will be seen by many as a gesture of goodwill to do so regardless of the legal position. It would likely cause some upset to employee relations if you announced that you were going to deduct a day’s pay from May salaries or ask staff to attend work instead.

Here to Help

For advice about giving staff the extra bank holiday and other employer obligations, please get in touch with Miranda Mulligan, Associate Solicitor, in our Employment law team.

Find out more about our Employment Law Packages, Employment Law Health Check, HR and Employment Law Training and the Longmores Employer Assistance Package (LEAP) with optional insurance to protect you against the costs of employment tribunals, legal fees, settlements and financial awards in the event of a dispute.

Please note the contents of this article are given for information only and must not be relied upon. Legal advice should always be sought in relation to specific circumstances.