The Palace have announced that there will be an extra Bank Holiday on Monday 19th September for the Queen’s funeral. This means that 2022 will see 10 bank holidays rather than the usual 8 days.
This will leave many employers and employees alike wondering if they will be allowed the extra day off. So are employees automatically entitled to the additional bank holiday?
This will depend on the wording of the employee’s contract of employment. It is therefore important that you check the wording of your contracts and communicate with employees about whether or not they will be required to work on the additional bank holiday.
|Contractual wording||Entitlement to time off on the additional bank holiday
|“20 days holiday per annum plus bank holidays”
|Yes – employees will have a contractual entitlement to take paid time off on the additional bank holiday as the wording on holiday entitlement in the contract is not limited to the normal/usual bank holidays observed in England and Wales. Therefore, there is a contractual entitlement to paid time off on all bank holidays – including bank holidays which are in addition to those normally observed.
|“28 days holiday per annum”
|Potentially – where the contract is silent on bank holidays, the employee has the ability to book using their 28-day holiday allowance any of the bank holidays, including the additional bank holiday. However, there is no increase in holiday entitlement as a result of the additional bank holiday.
|“20 days holiday per annum plus 8 bank/public holidays”
|Potentially – similar to above, the contract is silent on which bank holidays are included within the employee’s holiday entitlement and therefore an employee has the ability to book the additional bank holiday as paid time off on the 19th September 2022. This will, however, mean that the employee will not be entitled to one of the later bank holidays in the year. We would recommend this is clarified to the employee at the time of booking annual leave.
|“20 days holiday per annum plus New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Early May Bank Holiday, Spring Bank Holiday, Summer Bank Holiday, Christmas Day and Boxing Day”
|No – where there is a list of bank holidays contained within the contract, the employee will only be entitled to receive paid time off on those bank holidays listed (whether this list is some or all of those usually observed in England and Wales). Employees with such wording in their contract will not be entitled to paid time off on the 19th September 2022.|
|“20 days holiday per annum plus the usual bank/public holidays observed in England and Wales”
|No – as the additional bank holiday is not usually observed in England and Wales, employees would not be entitled to take paid time off on the additional bank holiday.|
|“20 days holiday per annum plus the 8 bank/public holidays usually observed in England and Wales”||No – as above, the bank holidays which are included within holiday entitlement are listed and therefore there is no entitlement to the additional bank holiday.|
However, even where there is no contractual entitlement to take the additional bank holiday as paid time off, many employers as a gesture of goodwill, will decide to allow their employees to take the additional bank holiday or provide time off in lieu.
You could also consider closing the office on Monday 19th September 2022 and require employees to take the day as annual leave. If you opt for this, then employees must save a day of their yearly entitlement to cover the closure of the additional bank holiday). This is similar to what many employers do for Christmas shutdown period.
If you decide to close your offices on Monday 19th September you will be required to provide employees with twice the amount of notice i.e. 2 days’ notice in accordance with the Working Time Regulations. However, we would recommend that you notify employees of your decision as soon as possible to ensure they understand what will happen and what is expected of them, this will also allow them to manage their annual leave for the year.
When considering whether to allow employees paid time off for this additional bank holiday for 2022, you should consider what has been done previously. We have had three additional Bank Holidays over the past eleven years – William and Kate’s Royal Wedding on 2011, the Queen’s Diamon Jubilee in 2012 and the Queen Platinum Jubilee earlier this year.
If employees have previously been offered paid time-off or time-off in lieu to mark an additional bank holiday, however, you decide to take a different approach for this Bank Holiday, it may cause negative reaction from employees.
If you have any questions on how to deal with the additional bank holiday, please do not hesitate to contact us.