Managing bank holiday entitlements for the King’s Coronation – 8 May 2023

The government announced an additional bank holiday on 8 May 2023, to celebrate the King’s coronation, meaning May will have 3 bank holidays.

Are employees entitled to extra pay for working the coronation bank holiday?

The short answer is: it depends on the wording of the contract governing the relationship.

Many staff will automatically think that they are entitled to this further bank holiday, but employers should review 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, such as 8 May 2023 for the King’s Coronation, can be requested by staff and if permission is granted by the employer,  it can be taken as part of the staff’s usual annual holiday entitlement, or as additional paid leave if the employer wishes to do so. 

If, however, the contract states that annual leave entitlement is “20 days annual leave plus the bank holidays” and it fails to stipulate which bank holidays are included, the employer will have to provide this additional bank holiday off for staff.

What should employers do?

Ad hoc decisions about additional bank holidays, without properly updating contracts, can lead to arguments from staff that they are entitled by custom and practice to all additional bank holidays granted by the government in the future.

Employers should, therefore, review their contracts and consider the decisions made last year for the additional bank holidays granted in respect of the Platinum Jubilee in June and the Queen’s funeral in September, before coming to a decision.

Contact our Specialist Employment Team if you require advice on this matter.

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

Caroline Carr, Partner & Accredited Specialist in Employment Law: / 0141 221 8012 / Connect with Caroline on LinkedIn