QOTW: Are workers entitled to an extra days’ paid holiday for the extra bank holiday in 2022?

QOTW: Are workers entitled to an extra days’ paid holiday for the extra bank holiday in 2022?

With everything that’s been going on you can be forgiven for forgetting, or not even noticing, that we’re getting an extra bank holiday in 2022.

It’s the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and Friday 3 June has been declared a bank holiday for 2022 – for many people that means a 4-day weekend. But not for everyone, and for some it may come at a price.

 

Are workers entitled to an extra days’ paid holiday?

There is no legal right to the day off on a bank holiday – and there are plenty of workers whose role means they have little choice but to be available on bank holidays. For those people their contracts are likely to be clear that there is no entitlement to take bank holidays as leave. The Queen’s platinum jubilee gift to the country is unlikely to make much of an impression on them.

But those whose workplace normally closes on bank holidays will be expecting an extra days’ holiday next year – whether they’re actually entitled to one depends on what the employment contract says.

 

What the employment contract says

For example, if the contract says something like “your annual leave entitlement is 28 days including bank holidays” then there is no right to take the extra bank holiday next year as additional holiday.

If the contract wording is more loose – along the lines of “your annual leave entitlement is 20 days plus bank holidays” then it’s likely they will be entitled to the 3 June as an additional paid holiday for 2022.

 

Planning in advance

If the company is planning to shut down for the day, you’ll need to think carefully about how you will manage leave. What do your contracts say about holiday and bank holidays?

Will you give workers an additional day paid holiday? If not, you’ll need to give sufficient notice to workers that the company will be closing that day and that they have to book it out of their annual leave entitlement.

Notice requirements are twice the amount of leave intended to be taken – so 2 days’ notice to take 1 days’ holiday.

Closing your operations for the day but not giving workers the extra day as paid holiday (or not giving it as an extra day in lieu if that’s what you would normally do for those who work a bank holiday) is unlikely to be a popular approach.

It’s been a tough time for everyone, and we’re experiencing something of a staffing and wellbeing crisis (see our lead article). Giving your workforce the extra days’ holiday will obviously come at a cost to the business, but in most cases should be a manageable one.

The key is to plan ahead, and communicate with your staff.