• News
  • 13th September 2022

Bank Holiday Rights

With the sad passing of HM Queen Elizabeth II last week, it has been confirmed that next Monday, 19th September 2022, has been announced as a Public and Bank Holiday in the United Kingdom due to the funeral taking place that day.  Many businesses will be following the guidance and intend to close for the day.  The word “unprecedented” has been thrown around abundantly in recent times and we find ourselves in yet another alien situation this week.


So, what is the position?


Since April 2009 most workers have a right to a minimum of 5.6 weeks’ paid annual leave under the Working Time Regulations 1998 (SI 1998/1833) (WTR 1998). This amounts to 28 days for a full-time employee. Many receive additional holiday rights under their contracts.


By regulation 13(1) of the WTR 1998 provides for a minimum of four weeks’ of that annual leave (20 days for full-time employees) each year.   The domestic right to an additional 1.6 weeks’ annual leave (8 days for full time employees) each year, represents the number of public holidays in England and Wales in a year.


Despite the increase, there is no specific statutory right to time off (paid or otherwise) on a Public holiday. Whether a worker can be required to work on a public holiday is a matter for the contract or, in some cases, simply the employer’s managerial prerogative. In many industries or occupations (such as retail, travel or emergency services), working on public holidays is a commercial or operational necessity and some specific Occupations are excluded in any event, such at the Police and the Armed Forces.


Where employers allow (or even require) workers to take leave on public holidays, this will count against statutory leave. Despite this, many employers give paid holiday on the public holidays in addition to the minimum statutory leave entitlement.


If my Employer closes the business that day, do I have to take annual leave from my entitlement?


The day will constitute a Bank Holiday/Public Holiday and will not count towards your annual leave entitlement ONLY IF your contract of employment states that your holiday entitlement is of at least 20 days annual leave (the minimum amount referred to above) plus Bank Holidays (the additional amount).


If, however your annual leave entitlement is 28 days, including Bank and Public Holidays, then your Employer may require you to take the day off from your Annual Leave Entitlement.


This will ultimately be up to your Employers discretion.



I have exhausted my annual leave entitlement; will I have to take the day unpaid?


Again, this is very much up to the Employer’s discretion and your contract of employment as outlined above.


I don’t usually work Monday, will I get an extra day off work now 19th September 2022 has been declared a Bank/Public Holiday?


A part-time worker is entitled to 28 days’ holiday reduced pro rata, according to the number of days they work each week and therefore, as above, it will very much depend on the breakdown of the Annual Leave Entitlement in the Contract of Employment as outlined above, or at the discretion of the Employer.



Will schools be open?


It has been confirmed that schools will close on 19th September 2022.




Please do not hesitate to contact our Employment Team on 01472 240251 should you require any further advice.

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