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What employers should consider for additional bank holidays

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Following the sad news of Queen Elizabeth II’s passing, there will be a one-time only additional public holiday on the day of her state funeral. This has been set for Monday 19th September 2022. Although schools and government buildings will not be operating on this day, many businesses are now faced with questions on whether they will close, or will choose to operate as normal.

How will this impact your business? Below we have answered some of the frequently asked questions arising from the announcement of an additional bank holiday.

Does this mean I have to give my team an extra day’s holiday this year?

Not necessarily, as entitlement to this one-off public holiday will depend on the wording of the terms and conditions of employment issued to your employees. For example, if the contractual documentation states:

  • specific public holiday days only (such as Boxing Day, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day etc.), this means your employees are only entitled to receive the public holidays noted in the list and will not be automatically entitled to a further day off.
  • a specific annual entitlement which is inclusive of public holidays means your employees are only entitled to the total amount of days specified in the contract, e.g. 28 days per annum. In this case they would not be automatically entitled to a further day off.
  • All public holidays announced, or an annual leave entitlement plus public holidays without providing specifics, then generally this would mean there is a contractual entitlement for employees to receive the additional day.

What if their contract says that they are entitled to all bank holidays, but I need them to work on Monday?

In the scenario where a contract states all public holidays are recognised, the additional public holiday will be treated the same as any other public holiday employees are required to work. Namely the additional holiday would go back into the overall entitlement to be used at another time during the holiday year.

Can I opt to give staff the additional day regardless of what is in their contract?

Of course, you can decide to give an extra day to staff regardless of what your contracts of employment state.  It’s a good idea to put something in writing if you are recognising the extra day to advise everyone this is a discretionary, one-off gesture. 

How will the additional day work for those who are part-time?

If providing the additional day to staff, whether contractually required to or not, it would be the safest option to ensure part-time staff are treated fairly. This means they should receive a comparable entitlement to that of their full-time counterparts, even if they do not normally work on the day of the additional bank holiday. This is in line with the fair treatment of part-time workers legislation.

Will there be another public holiday announced for the coronation of King Charles III?

Although nothing has been confirmed yet, this may very well be the case as a public holiday has been recognised for coronations in the past. Consideration may be given to the fact 2022 has seen two additional bank holidays already as a result of the monarchy, however, it is likely this ceremony will not be for quite some time due to the planning required. If a public holiday is announced, the same rules as above will apply.

Further Support

If you would like further support on how to handle the additional public holiday, or are unsure of what your employees are entitled to, please do not hesitate to get in touch on 0141 221 2984 or email enquiries@fdpeople.co.uk.

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