An additional bank holiday has been announced to mark the funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on Monday 19 September. Employers will need to consider what this means for their employees and their annual leave entitlements. Below, we explore the legal position for both full tie and part-time workers.
Queen’s bank holiday entitlement for full-time workers
Here, an additional bank holiday does not automatically create an extra day’s holiday. If an employee’s contract provides for 28 days of holiday including all bank holidays (the statutory minimum), the additional bank holiday does not (strictly) entitle them to an extra day’s paid leave. If however, the employee’s contract provides for 20 days leave plus bank holidays then the employee will be entitled to take Monday 19th off as paid leave.
Queen’s bank holiday entitlement for part-time workers
Part-time workers’ holiday entitlement is calculated on a pro-rata basis. If their contract provides for 20 days of leave plus bank holidays pro rata then their entitlement will increase. On the other hand, if their contract provides for 28 days including bank holidays pro rata then they are not (strictly) entitled to an extra day/half day’s paid leave.
This also applies to workers who are not working on the day of the funeral, for example, employees on periods of statutory leave, such as sick leave or maternity leave.
Bank holiday entitlement – What next?
Whether your staff are contractually entitled to paid leave next Monday or not, employers can nevertheless choose to grant the extra day’s paid leave. There are of course practical issues to consider, such as schools being closed, not to mention the potential for reputational consequences if an employer chooses to operate as normal on this day, particularly if a comparison can be drawn with other businesses in their sector.
Considering this and given the national importance of the day, employers may consider granting an extra day’s leave as a goodwill gesture. Employers should however make clear that the decision to grant the leave (where this is the case) has been made on a one-off, discretionary basis.
Lloyd Clarke is a Partner of the firm and heads up the Employment Law Department. If you are an employee or an employer who requires advice on this topic or any employment law or HR issue generally, please do not hesitate to get in touch on 01206 239761 or firstname.lastname@example.org.