Posted on November 26, 2021
An additional bank holiday has been announced to mark the Queen’s 70-year reign. The May Bank Holiday Weekend will be moved to Thursday 2 June and an additional Bank Holiday on Friday 3 June.
Employers can expect an influx of requests for annual leave from employees so that they are able to enjoy the long bank holiday weekend.
The question many businesses will have is whether their employees are automatically entitled to the additional bank holiday. This will depend on the wording of the contract of employment. Employees do not have an automatic right to paid time off on a bank holiday. Employers are advised to check the wording in their contract of employment and inform employees about whether or not they will be required to work on the additional bank holiday in line with the terms of the contract, in good time.
If the contract of employment states: “20 days holiday per annum plus bank holidays,” it is likely that the 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 usual bank holidays observed in England and Wales. Therefore in this scenario, the employee would be entitled to a contractual entitlement to paid time off on all bank holidays which would include any additional bank holidays.
Some employers may decide that despite what is written in the contract of employment they would, as a gesture of goodwill, allow their employees to take the additional bank holiday or it that is not possible to provide time off in lieu (TOIL).
There have been previous additional bank holidays, such as the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, which took place in 2011 and the Queen’s diamond jubilee, which took place in 2012, so when considering whether to allow the additional bank holiday in 2022, employers may wish to consider what they have done in the past. As if employees have been allowed to take the additional bank holiday in the past and they are now informed that they cannot take the bank holiday in 2022, it may cause a negative reaction and affect staff morale.
For advice on employment contracts or more information about the required employment documentation please contact our Specialist Employment Documentation Solicitors on 020 7903 6888 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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