2022 saw two extra bank holidays for Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee in May, followed by her funeral in September. Like buses, 2023 will complete the set with an additional bank holiday having now been called for King Charles III’s coronation.
When is it?
The coronation will take place at Westminster Abbey on Saturday 6 May 2023. The bank holiday will fall on Monday 8 May 2023. This will take place across the United Kingdom and is in addition to the early May bank holiday on Monday 1 May 2023.
Are my employees entitled to have an extra bank holiday for the King’s coronation?
Employees do not have an automatic right to time off (paid or otherwise) on a bank holiday, although it is common practice for employers to give staff the time off (or, alternatively, time off in lieu). Whether or not an employee will be entitled to a bank holiday will depend on the wording of their contracts.
For example, if their contracts state that their annual leave entitlement includes “normal” or “the usual or standard bank holidays” then they will not be entitled to this additional holiday.
The same is true if their contracts are silent on bank holidays and they will not be entitled to the bank holiday and you could potentially require them to work that day.
What do I need to do if my employees are entitled to the extra bank holiday?
If, after reviewing the wording of their contracts, your employees are entitled to the extra holiday, then you will need to give them the extra day’s leave.
That being said, it is not always possible or desirable for businesses to close on a bank holiday. This will be the case particularly for those businesses where there would be a negative impact on costs and service. Some businesses and organisations may choose to close or halt their operations on the day of the bank holiday, although there is no obligation on them to do so.
If you do need to give the time off, this can be done by either:
- Closing the business for the day and giving your employees the additional holiday
- Opening on the extra bank holiday day and then providing your employees with a day off in lieu at another time.
What should I do if my employees are not entitled to it?
If your employees are not entitled to the extra bank holiday, then you have the following options:
Open on the extra day and require your staff to work as normal
Even if you decide to open and require your staff to work, they could, in principle, still request to have that day off as part of their normal annual leave entitlement. You do not have to grant that request, but it would be sensible to decide in advance what approach will be taken to such requests.
Close on the extra day and require your staff to take the day as leave out of their annual leave entitlement
Under this option, you will need to give your employees at least two days’ notice if you are requiring them to use their annual leave entitlement, unless your contracts permit you to require holiday to be taken on shorter notice.
Close on the day of the additional bank holiday and, as a gesture of goodwill, grant your staff an extra day’s paid leave on a discretionary basis
It would be sensible to check the position under your contracts sooner rather than later, particularly if your holiday year runs to the calendar year.
Your employees may be wondering whether they are going to get the additional day off and it would be better to be ahead of the curve with your announcement, rather than having to field repeated questions from your workforce.
If you would like any input from us with how to word that announcement or what your obligations may be, do get in touch with our employment team.