It has been announced that there will be a four-day weekend to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Here’s what employers need to know.
The May Spring Bank Holiday (which usually falls on a Monday) will be moved to Thursday 2nd June and there will be an extra Bank Holiday on Friday 3rd June, to create a four-day weekend in celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Employers need to plan ahead and consider what this means for holiday entitlement.
Are my employees entitled to have extra bank holiday for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee?
Despite popular belief, employees do not have an automatic right to time off (paid or otherwise) on a bank holiday. Whether or not your employees will be entitled to the additional bank holiday is entirely dependent upon the wording of their contracts.
For example, if their contracts state that their annual leave entitlement includes “the usual or standard bank holidays” or specifies which or what number of bank holidays are included, they will not be entitled to this additional bank holiday. This will also be the case if their contracts are silent regarding bank holiday entitlement.
If, however, their contracts state that their annual leave entitlement is “X days plus bank holidays”, then they will be entitled to the additional day’s leave.
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 bank holiday, then you will need to give them the extra day’s leave.
This can be done by either:
- Closing the business for the day and giving your employees the additional holiday; or
- Opening on the extra bank holiday day and then providing your employees with a day off in lieu at another time.
Although the first option will be more attractive to employees, 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 on costs and service, for example, leisure or hospitality businesses who often find that their busiest times are during such holidays. Employees working within these sectors are often used to working on a bank holiday but having the equivalent time off at another point.
What should I do if my employees are not entitled to the extra bank holiday?
If your employees are not entitled to the extra bank holiday, then you have the following options:
#1 – Open on the extra day and require your staff to work as normal
Even if you decide to open on the Friday 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.
#2 – 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.
#3 – Close on the day of the bank holiday and, as a gesture of goodwill, grant your staff an extra day’s paid leave on a discretionary basis
Whichever option you adopt, we would recommend that you communicate it clearly and as soon as you can, so that your employees can plan accordingly.
Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our Employment Team.