Non HR folk love two phrases that HR folk will say on a daily bais. One common one is “Is it reasonable?” and another firm favourite is, “It depends what’s in the contract.”
The answer to whether any employer has to give additional bank holidays that fall in the holiday year is, it depends what is in the contract of employment.
For example in 2022 we had two additional bank holidays announced by the Government, we had one for the Queen’s Jubilee, and sadly one for the Queen’s funeral. Some employers will have contracts of employment that state “20* days plus bank and public holidays. That means that when the Government announce additional bank holidays, this employer will be giving the employees the additional days off.
Some employers state in their contracts of employment “20* days including bank and public holidays.” This means that for this employer, they do not have to give additional days off when the Government announce additional days are bank holidays. They can choose to if they wish to.
If they decide not to give additional leave, each employee will need to use one of their holiday days to cover the fixed holiday on this additional bank holiday. Employers can fix holidays by giving twice the notice of the days to be taken, i.e. 2 days notice for 1 days’ leave. We did this in 2022, my team were gifted the Queen’s Jubilee but the Queen’s funeral came from their holiday entitlement.
Different Holiday Years
Employers will have different holiday years, most common is 1st January to 31st December, the 1st April to 31st March and finally 1st September to 31st August. We do have one client that has anniversary of start date as a holiday year! Don’t forget if your entitlement is 1st April to 31st March that in the holiday year 2023/24 there will be two Good Fridays.
The next time we have an additional bank holiday is for the King’s Coronation. If you have staff who do not work Monday 8th May and you have decided to give staff this extra day, don’t forget you need to treat those who work part time and don’t work a Monday the same.
For us it means that one of our team has had the equivalient leave added to their entitlement in 2023.
If we can be of any assistance helping you with holidays or any aspect of HR and employment law please give us a call on 01527 909436.
*This could be any figure or weeks.