As the date for the funeral of HM The Queen has been set for Monday 19 September, an extra bank holiday has been added to the calendar for 2022.
However, some questions have been raised on whether employees are legally entitled to the additional bank holiday or not. This will likely be dependent on whether employers are open for business, and the wording of the relevant clause in the employee’s employment contract.
If an employee’s contract says that they are entitled to specific number of days of annual leave (e.g. 20 days) “plus bank holidays”, then this is likely to be interpreted as the employee being entitled to the additional bank holiday, on the basis that the wording includes all bank holidays i.e. the extra one too.
If the wording of the contract states that an employee is entitled to a specific number of holidays (e.g. 30 days) “including bank holidays”, then it is arguable that the additional bank holiday this year is not something the employee would be entitled to on the basis that the additional bank holiday is included in the overall holiday entitlement.
However, where the contract wording states that an employee is entitled to a given number of days plus the “usual” bank holidays, this would suggest that the employee may not have a legal entitlement to the additional bank holiday in 2022 as it does not form part of the usual 8 days that are generally bank holidays in a year.
If employers are closed, similar to how an employer may require their employees to use their annual leave entitlement for Christmas closures, under the Working Time Regulations employers are entitled to require employees to take annual leave on the bank holiday. However, employers must give employees at least two days’ notice of the day’s annual leave.
Nonetheless, employers may decide to allow employees to benefit from the additional day off for employee relations purposes given that it likely to be something that employees will expect to be able to take off! If you are unsure of your position on the additional bank holiday for your staff please feel free to get in touch with us.
Posted on September 13, 2022