It has been announced today that the 19th September 2022, the Queen’s State Funeral at 11 a.m. and it will be a Bank Holiday in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The move means that schools, councils, many businesses and many shops will close for the day.

Employers do not have to close, and employers do not have to grant staff a paid day off on a Bank Holiday. In fact many employees will be working as normal on 19th September and whether they are paid any premium for this working will be a matter for their contract of employment. As a Day Nursery you could decide to remain open if you feel your parents need you to provide daycare. That decision will be yours.

Will this Bank Holiday mean an additional day for employer’s to pay for?

Employers should consult their contracts of employment to see whether this additional date will or will not be included in the stated holiday entitlement for their employees. In some contracts of employment it will state a holiday entitlement as a number of days of holiday PLUS Bank and Public Holidays (typically 8 or 9 days).

In other contracts of employment, the holiday entitlement will be expressed as 5.6 weeks including Bank and Public Holidays. It is the latter which gives the employer the choice to assign a day from the entitlement as the bank holiday for the Queen’s State Funeral. Some will exercise that choice, others will feel able to grant a further paid day’s leave to their employees.

What happens if you have already allocated all of the dates that someone is entitled to in the holiday year?

Due to the timing of the Queen’s passing, some employers will have allocated the dates that their employee will be off on paid leave in the current holiday year. This will be because either they fix all holidays or because the employee has booked all of their annual leave. In the latter situation, where holiday entitlement includes Bank and Public Holidays, the employer can ask the employee whether they would like to re-allocate one of their booked dates to the 19th September or whether they would prefer to keep the dates as they are and have unpaid leave on the day.

What happens if someone doesn’t work on the date of the Funeral?

If someone doesn’t work on the day of the week that the Queen’s State Funeral falls, then as the employee is already off work they do not need to allocate a day of their leave for that date.

However if they have a contract which means that they have their holiday expressed as X days PLUS Bank and Public Holidays then you as the employer will need to allocate a further day for that employee or proportion of a day if they are part time.

Here’s an example of how this would work in practice

Say Beryl works 4 days a week and her rota for the week commencing Monday 19th September is Tuesday to Friday. Her contract states she is entitled to 22.4 days including Bank and Public Holidays. This means she doesn’t have a proportion of a day added to her holiday entitlement if the Queen’s State Funeral falls on a Monday because she’s not in work.

If Fred works 4 days a week, and the funeral is a Monday, and his rota is Wednesday to Saturday in the week that the Queen’s State Funeral falls, and he has a contract which says his entitlement is 16 days PLUS Bank and Public Holidays, Fred will have an additional proportion of a day added to his entitlement.

How would Fred’s leave be re-calculated?

To recalculate his entitlement in the holiday year the employer will add 1 day to 20 days to get 21 days, they will then multiply that by 4/5ths or 0.8 and get 16.8 days annual leave in the holiday year. This is because Fred has a contract where he works 4 days a week. Fred will therefore have 0.8 of a day to take elsewhere in the holiday year.

Can an employer just gift everyone an additional day for the Queen’s State Funeral?

Yes, given the significance of the event many employers will do just this and explain that they are closing for the day and if you would have been in work you would be paid as normal.

Will those on maternity leave expect another day?

Again, it depends on the contracts of employment. If the employee is on maternity leave and has a contract of employment that states that holiday entitlement is PLUS Bank and Public Holidays then they will have a further day, or proportion of a further day, if part time, to be added to the current holiday year’s entitlement. If their holiday entitlement is expressed as 5.6 weeks including Bank and Public Holidays then not. If the employer gifts all their employee’s an additional day, then those on maternity leave might have an argument that by them being on maternity leave they have suffered a detriment if they are not granted an additional day as well.

Will those on long term sickness absence expect another day?

Again, it depends on the contract of employment. If they are as above (for someone on maternity leave) then the employee hasn’t been able to take the additional day because they are on long term sickness absence so it will be added to their entitlement when they are fit to return to work or indeed leave your employment. If their holiday entitlement is expressed as 5.6 weeks including Bank and Public Holidays then not.

If we can assist you with any aspect of managing employees in your Day Nursery, Pre-school or Out of School Club please contact us on 01527 909436.