There will be an extra Bank Holiday to mark The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee on Friday 3 June. In addition, the late May bank holiday has been moved to Thursday 2 June creating a four-day weekend to celebrate the occasion. This means there will be 9 Bank Holidays in 2022 instead of the normal 8! Many employers will be questioning if an employee is entitled to this extra days’ holiday. The answer to this question will vary depending on the wording of the employee’s contract of employment.
If the contract states an employee’s holiday entitlement includes Bank Holidays and then lists the standard Bank Holidays that are recognised as part of the holiday entitlement, then there would be no need for the employer to give an extra day’s leave for The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. This would also be true if the contract just states the entitlement “includes the usual or standard Bank Holidays”, or “plus 8 bank holidays”.
If the contract simply states holiday entitlement includes “Bank Holidays”, without listing the Bank Holidays or referencing the usual/standard Bank Holidays or the number of Bank Holidays, then the employee would be entitled to the extra day, as The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee is a Bank Holiday and the contract states the employee is entitled to Bank Holidays as part of their annual entitlement. For example:
- Staff are entitled to the extra bank holiday if their contract states – 20 days holiday plus Bank Holidays.
By comparison to:
- Staff are not entitled to the extra bank holiday if their contract states – 20 days holiday plus 8 Bank Holidays.
- Staff are not entitled to the extra bank holiday if their contract states – 28 days or 5.6 weeks which includes Bank Holidays.
Some companies may not recognise Bank Holidays as part of an employee’s holiday entitlement, therefore there would be no obligation to give an extra day off for The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Employees do not have an automatic right to paid time off on a Bank Holiday unless specified in their contract and will need to be made aware of this.
So what do you do?
Even if there is no contractual right to the extra Bank Holiday, an employer can decide to give the extra day as a gesture of goodwill. Many employees may assume that they will get the additional Bank Holiday, while legally an employer may not be required to give Friday 3rd June 2022 as a day off, they may decide to allow the day to enhance employee relations. This could be seen as a great way to boost morale during a period of national celebration.
Organisations take all different forms of types of work, commitments, working hours, working days, full-time, part-time working etc. What is important is that the decision on granting an extra days’ paid Bank Holiday (where it is no contractual entitlement) is replicated across the organisation and its people, by this we mean:
- If you give an extra days’ Bank Holiday, ensure that a part-time employee also receives the pro-rata amount;
- If some of your employees work in the office Monday to Friday but others work varying hours Monday to Sunday (including Bank Holidays), ensure that if the office staff get an extra Bank Holiday on 3 June that those who need to work on that day also receive an extra day at another point during the year.
- It’s important not to disadvantage, treat employees fairly and to avoid any risks to morale, of unlawfulness or otherwise.
We advise that employers plan well in advance for potential staffing issues during this time and ensure that their communicate is clear and consistent. They may need extra staff if their business due to it being particularly busy on those days, and they may equally see a spike in requests for annual leave around this time.
Next step: check your contracts, decide on your approach and communicate.
Employment law changes and so it’s vital that employment contracts are reviewed periodically to remain up to date. If you have any questions regarding the extra bank holiday and holiday entitlement, please contact a member of the ViewHR team today for a free initial discussion.