In 2022, to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, the Government has announced an additional bank holiday on Friday, June 3. What does this actually mean for employers and employees?
Legal entitlement (statute)
The first thing to note is that bank holidays are not statutory holidays. They are, as the name suggests, simply non-banking days. Under statute, bank holidays have no legal standing. So the statutory minimum holiday entitlement in the UK is currently 5.6 weeks a year (or 28 days for 5-day a week worker) and this is unchanged in 2022. So legal position – it has no impact and you are not obliged in law to give an extra day.
This is where it gets a bit more complex. Some employment contracts make reference to bank holidays. Here are the possible contractual terms and their implications:
|Contract type||Extra day due?||Reason|
|You are entitled to 28 days (5.6 weeks) of annual leave a year. You will be required to allocate some of these to cover business shutdown days and a list of these will be published at the start of each holiday year||no||You have identified the total number of days of leave. An extra bank holiday may mean an extra shut down day (if you close the business that day) and then the employee will simply have one less day available to take as they choose|
|You will be entitled to take all bank holidays as part of your annual leave plus an additional 20 (or more) days||yes||You have identified ALL bank holidays as part of the employee entitlement plus a defined additional number so for 2022 that will be 9 plus 20 giving a total of 29 (5.8 weeks)|
|You will be entitled to take all bank holidays as part of your annual leave plus additional holidays to take your full entitlement to the statutory annual minimum of 28 (5.6 weeks)||no||You have capped the total number of days of leave and so any increase in the number of bank holidays simply reduces the number of additional days. So 9 bank holidays leaving 19 additional days|
|You will be entitled to take bank holidays in the year as shown below (list them) plus an additional 20 days to take as your choose (subject to agreement)||no||You have defined the bank holidays and so, if you exclude a bank holiday such as the additional one added this year, it would not fall into the list of required holidays|
If there is no contractual right to the extra Bank Holiday, you can decide to close on Friday 3rd June 2022, without giving an extra day’s holiday. Notice could be given, ideally at the start of the holiday year, that an employee must save a day of their yearly entitlement to cover the closure for The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. This is similar to what many employers do for Christmas shutdowns.
Even if there is no contractual right to the extra day, you can decide to honour it as a gesture of goodwill. And indeed I suspect that this is what many of us will do.
Let’s just hope it doesn’t rain…