Are employees automatically entitled to the additional bank holiday?

Are employees automatically entitled to the additional bank holiday?

In order to commemorate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee anniversary, an extra bank holiday has been confirmed which will take place on Friday 3 June 2022, creating a 4-day weekend.

How will it impact employers?

Employers should check their employees’ contracts to determine whether or not they are entitled to the additional bank holiday.

Are employees automatically entitled to the additional bank holiday?

As with most things, there is not an easy and straightforward answer as ultimately it will depend on the specific contractual wording.

If the employment contract states the specific holidays that employees are entitled to, such as Christmas, Boxing Day and Easter Monday, then the employee will only be entitled to those days, and not the additional bank holiday on 3 June.

Again, if the contract states they can have “the usual” bank holidays, then unfortunately for the employee, they will not be entitled to the additional day.

If however, the contract wording is “plus bank holidays” then employees should be entitled to the additional paid time off. This is because the drafting is wide enough to allow additional bank holidays to those that are normally observed.

The difficulty for employers could arise if the contractual wording states a specified amount of bank holidays; for example “[8] bank holidays per year” or “plus [8] bank holidays”. If this is the case, then the employee should still be able to book the Jubilee bank holiday off if they want to, but they would have to use a bank holiday day from their contractual entitlement, as opposed to it be granted as an additional day of holiday.

Can employers grant the additional day?

Even if an employee is not contractually entitled to the additional bank holiday, an employer can still grant them the leave. One of the easiest options, although it may not be practical or feasible, would be to close the business on 3 June without requiring the employee to use a day’s holiday.

Alternatively, an employer could require that employees save a day of their entitlement to cover any potential closure, although as much notice should be given as possible.

Regardless as to whether or not employers will allow their employees to have the additional bank holiday as leave, they should communicate this with employees as soon as possible.

If you would like any advice on how to deal with any bank holiday queries, please get in touch with a member of the team on 01752 663295.

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