01622 689700 / 01474 887688

Avoid Platinum Jubilee extra bank holiday woes

2022 sees the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, marking her 70 years on the throne and the Government has announced there will be an extra bank holiday to celebrate. This means the traditional second May bank holiday will be moved to Thursday 2 June and an extra bank holiday will take place on Friday 3rd June.

Whether your employees will have a contractual right to paid time off on both of these days depends on the wording in their employment contracts.

For example, if employees have a contractual right to paid time off on bank holidays they will be entitled to the leave on Thursday 2 June instead of the usual last Monday in May.  To also be entitled to the additional bank holiday on 3 June, their contract would state they are allowed their x days holiday each year plus all bank holidays.

If their contract states they receive x days holiday,  it means they can book any bank holidays using their holiday allowance,  but there is no automatic increase as the result of the extra bank holiday.

If their contract states they have x days holiday each year plus 8 bank holidays, the employee can book the additional bank holiday off,  but they will lose their entitlement to a later bank holiday in the year.

Where a contract lists each bank holiday ie x days holiday per year plus Christmas Day,  New Year’s Day,  Good Friday etc then there is no entitlement to any bank holiday which isn’t listed.

If employers decide to grant all employees the entitlement to the additional bank holiday as paid time off and if some members of staff cannot take the time for business reasons,  they should be provided with time off in lieu as an alternative.

As ever it is important to communicate with your employees in advance of the day about whether you expect them to work or not, in line with the terms of their contract.

Fairness also needs to come into play when dealing with requests for holiday leave and there may be an increase in requests for those keen to benefit from the extra bank holiday.

Make sure you have a holiday policy in place so employees know what to expect when requesting leave.  This could include allocating leave on a first come, first served basis, setting a limit on the number of employees who can be off at any one time, specifying when leave can and can’t be taken, ie not during your busy periods, specify days which must be taken as holiday for example during a Christmas shut down, asking for a period of notice before leave is requested, ie at least two weeks before they want to take it and giving sufficient notice if a holiday request needs to be refused.

All of these measures along with a suitable means of reviewing and tracking holiday leave taken should help ensure a fair and consistent approach.

If you would like guidance on any issue relating to bank holiday or holiday leave please get in touch.