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Legal News | 3.05.23

Does an extra bank holiday for the Coronation of King Charles III mean an extra day off?

Coronation of King Charles III - Wansbroughs LLP

All employees are entitled by law to a minimum of 5.6 weeks of annual leave a year. For someone full-time, this amounts to 28 days a year. This usually consists of 20 days plus the usual 8 bank holidays. With the Coronation, there will be 9 bank holidays in 2023, so what does this mean for you as an employee or your business as an employer? To find the answer, we must look at the employment contract in place.

Generally, employees have no statutory right to time off on bank holidays, so the statutory holiday entitlement does not change merely because there is an additional bank holiday. However, if the contract is drafted to include a number of days “plus bank holidays”, employees will be entitled to time off on any bank holidays, including the extra bank holiday for the Coronation.

If bank holidays are not expressly included in an employee’s contractual entitlement and the wording includes “28 days”, the employer may require the employee to work on a bank holiday. This is important for businesses where it is beneficial to remain open on bank holidays, such as hospitality or retail, and the same rule applies to part-time as well as full-time workers.

Equally, if a business decides to close on a bank holiday, it can require its employees to take time off on that day and use a day of their holiday entitlement. Where businesses close at a certain time each year and require an employee to use their holiday entitlement, for example, closing on Christmas Eve and reopening on 2 January, it is usual to include this within the employment contract. As the Coronation Bank Holiday is a special occasion it is unlikely to be detailed within the employment contract.  Therefore, the employer should notify employees at least twice as many days before the number of days required to be taken off.

If you would like more specific advice in relation to employees’ holiday entitlement, then please get in touch with your usual contact at Wansbroughs or email commercial@wansbroughs.com.