The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and an extra bank holiday

by | Feb 8, 2022 | News

Now the New Year is over it seems we are all starting to get excited for the celebrations and an additional bank holiday.  But will your employees be getting the Queen’s jubilee as a day off?  The answer is this will depend on the wording of their contract. Let’s unpick this to understand whether they can take advantage of any new bank holiday.

Some contracts do not state the number of bank holidays. In that case, employers may be contractually required to grant employees an extra day.

For example, if the contract states, “your holiday entitlement is 25 days plus public holidays”, then as bank holidays are included on top of the employee’s annual leave allowance and the contract does not stipulate the exact number they are entitled to, the extra day becomes a contractual entitlement.  This means the employee will be able to take and be paid for the extra bank holiday on 3rd June 2022.

However, if their contract states how many bank holidays they are entitled to or the total number of days, including bank holidays, then there is no obligation on employers to grant an extra day of leave.

For example, the contract may state, “your holiday entitlement is 20 days per year, plus eight bank holidays” or “your holiday entitlement is 33 days per year.  This is inclusive of the normal public holidays.  The Company recognises the following public holidays …..”.  In this situation, because bank holidays form part of the employee’s set holiday entitlement, and because you have expressly provided the public holidays in question, the employee won’t have a contractual right to the extra bank holiday in 2022.

What are your options?

If you want to close the business for the day and your contracts do not allow employees the right to the extra bank holiday, then you have two options:

  • Firstly, you can ask employees to use a day of their normal annual leave entitlement on 3 June so that they don’t miss out on a day’s pay. Do this sooner rather than later and it would be advisable to confirm this in writing.
  • Or, you could decide to grant an extra day’s paid leave as a discretionary gesture. After the events of 2020/21, and this being seen as the (hopefully) first summer of freedom since the pandemic, this could provide employers with the opportunity to show appreciation to their teams by granting the extra day to staff regardless.