Do I need to grant staff time off if a bank holiday is announced?

Following the sad news of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the Government may shortly announce (at least one) bank holiday to allow for national mourning over the coming days (and perhaps a second if the King’s Coronation takes place later this year).

It is likely that most employers will grant these additional days holiday to their staff, effectively increasing leave entitlements. For some employers, this may not be feasible due to the work that they undertake, or as a result of financial constraints.

If a bank holiday is announced, am I obliged to confirm?

Before making a decision on whether or not to grant staff time off for any additional bank holiday that is announced, you should review your contracts of employment for all staff to see what they say.

If the contract states that employees are entitled to “20 days annual leave plus the usual 8 holidays (or the pro rata  equivalent)” this means that any extra bank holidays can be taken either by being granted as additional paid leave, or as part of the usual holiday entitlement.

If, however, your contracts state that entitlement is “20 days annual leave plus the bank holidays” and fail to stipulate which bank holidays are included, you will have to fund those additional days off for your staff.

Advice on this topic is available from our Specialist Employment Team.

This update contains general information only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice.

Lesley Grant, Associate: / 0141 221 8012 / Connect with Lesley on LinkedIn