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11th May 2022

How Can Employers Prepare For The Additional June 2022 Bank Holiday?

Employees around a table with laptops

In celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, we will be enjoying an additional bank holiday on 3 June 2022, and the usual late May bank holiday has been moved to 2 June 2022. Whilst many employees will be glad of the upcoming 4-day weekend, are they all entitled to take the additional bank holiday as paid leave?

There is no statutory right that provides for automatic paid leave on bank holidays. The Working Time Regulations 1998 allows for 5.6 weeks of paid leave per year (or equivalent if part-time). These regulations do not differentiate between bank holidays and other days so employers can include bank holidays in the 5.6 weeks entitlement. However, this entitlement has not been amended to account for 2022’s additional bank holiday on 3 June 2022.

Whilst employees cannot rely on a statutory right to receive paid leave for this additional day off, they may be able to rely on the terms of their contract of employment, depending on how their annual leave clause has been drafted.

Check the Contract of Employment

If the contract clause is drafted widely, such as an entitlement to “all bank holidays” or a number of days paid leave “plus bank holidays” this would encompass the additional day (or permit them an additional day off in lieu). But, if their contract clause states that they are entitled to the “usual” bank holidays, or a specific number of days paid leave “inclusive of bank holidays”, or a specific number of days paid leave
without mentioning bank holidays separately, then it would be at the discretion of the employer to grant an additional day of paid leave.

If employees are not entitled to the additional day of paid leave, some employers may consider granting this additional benefit so as not to damage worker morale. In this case, it should be made expressly clear by the employer that they shall be providing this as an additional one-off benefit. If the employee does not enjoy the contractual right to the additional day off but nevertheless refuses to attend work on 3 June 2022, this could be dealt with as a disciplinary issue under the employer’s policy and actioned in accordance with the ACAS Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures.

Part-Time Workers

In order to avoid a possible claim from part-time workers that they have been treated “less favourably” than their full-time colleagues, it would be best practice to include this additional bank holiday in their pro-rata calculation of holiday entitlement if full-time employees are being granted this day off as paid leave.

Request Employees use their Annual Leave

Alternatively, if the employer intends to close their premises on 3 June 2022 without granting an additional day of paid leave, they could request that employees use a day of their annual leave entitlement to cover the day off. Provided that the employer gives at least 2 days prior notice to take this day off, this request will be compliant with the Working Time Regulations 1998.

Do the Employees Usually Work Bank Holidays?

Employees in some sectors may not usually be entitled to take bank holidays off as usual course, particularly in healthcare and hospitality. These employees may not be expecting the day off on 3 June 2022, but employers should be mindful to check their contracts of employment to ensure they are being paid the correct rate if they are entitled contractually to an enhanced rate of pay on bank
holidays.

If this additional bank holiday has prompted the review of your contracts of employment or you require employment law advice, our team would be happy to help. Please contact Lighthouse on 0300 303 5228.

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