Guest blog: Croner on Jubilee Bank Holiday Employee Leave Entitlement

Jubilee Bank Holiday- Are Employees Entitled to the Day Off

Two bank holiday weekends have come and gone. The platinum jubilee is on the horizon. For employees across the country this is a welcome break, for employers it could present a royal headache. What does the additional bank holiday mean for annual leave entitlement? How can you manage it?

The bank holidays for England in 2022 are as follows:

• 3rd January: New Year’s Day
• 15th April: Good Friday
• 18th April: Easter Monday
• 2nd May: Early May Bank Holiday
• 2nd June: Spring Bank Holiday
• 3rd June: Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday
• 29th August: Summer Bank Holiday
• 26th December: Boxing Day
• 27th December: Christmas Day

To clarify, Christmas Day itself hasn’t moved, but as it is on Sunday this year, the bank holiday is pushed until after Boxing Day. In Scotland, there are two summer bank holidays: 1st August and 29th August. There is also St. Andrew’s Day which falls on 30th November. In Wales, all the bank holidays are the same as England. In Northern Ireland, St Patrick’s Day falls on 17th March, and the Anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne on 12th July. All of these countries observe 3rd June as the Platinum Jubilee Holiday.

Am I entitled to give my staff leave?

Short answer: no.

There is no legal obligation for you to give staff an extra day off for the additional bank holiday. However, before you go away and announce to your workforce that they must work on the bank holiday, you should check your employment contracts. Why?

If their contract says they’re entitled to 20 days plus bank holiday, you should give them the additional bank holiday off work. Do this in line with your current policies.

If their contract says they’re entitled to 28 days inclusive of bank holidays, then it’s up to you whether to give them the extra day off work.

If the contract refers to “usual bank holidays” then the employee isn’t automatically entitled to it. However, you may consider giving it them off anyway as an additional benefit. “We would advise changing the wording of your contracts if your contracts are currently worded this way.

If the employee usually works on bank holidays, they shouldn’t expect the day off. However, if they receive a higher rate of pay when working on a public holiday they could expect this rate on the additional day.

Planning in advance

Before you put any kind of plan in place, you should take a look at your contracts and policies. What is your company position on annual leave entitlement? Is there a precedent for bank holidays? For  example, what did your business do for the bank holiday for the royal wedding in 2011? Your approach doesn’t have to necessarily be the same this time around, but it’s worth checking. Finally, take into account employee morale. If you can afford to give them the day off, it may be worth doing it just for a productivity boost.

Whatever you decide, make sure you give employees sufficient notice. If you require employees to take the time off, you need to give them twice the amount of leave to be taken in notice. So, if you want to give staff the bank holiday off, you’ll need to give them 2 days’ notice.

Support with leave and absence

If you feel like you may need extra advice from a HR professional then APHC members have access to a free Croner hotline. Please log in to the Members Area of the APHC website for details: Member Area – APHC