Are Employees Entitled To Be Paid For The Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday?

To celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, Friday 3 June 2022 will be an extra Bank Holiday, with the late May Bank Holiday moved to Thursday 2 June. This additional day will create a four-day weekend for most people, but not everyone, as it depends how their contract of employment is worded and the days they usually work.

What’s in the employment contract?

An employee’s employment contract should state what holiday they are entitled to and whether that includes the Bank Holidays. For example, if the contract states the employee is entitled to 20 days holiday plus the Bank Holidays, they will be entitled to the additional day for the Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday.

The contract may refer to ‘usual’ Bank Holidays and state the employee is entitled to 20 days holiday plus the usual Bank Holidays. As this additional Bank Holiday is not usual, an employee with such a contract will not automatically be entitled to the extra day, but the employer could exercise discretion and decide to allow it.

If the contract refers to 28 days holiday inclusive of Bank Holidays it will be at the employer’s discretion whether or not to give the employee the extra Bank Holiday.

How does it affect employees who normally work on Bank Holidays?

Those employees who typically work on Bank Holidays, may not be entitled to the additional Bank Holiday as a day off. If they do work the additional Bank Holiday, they will expect to be paid the enhanced rate they usually receive when they have worked Bank Holidays in the past.

Whether they are entitled to the day off or the enhanced pay will again depend on the wording in their employment contract.

How are part-time workers affected?

The entitlement of part-time workers will also depend on the wording of their contract. If they are entitled to the additional Bank Holiday, given the wording of their contract, but they do not work on a Friday, their holiday entitlement should be adjusted on a pro-rata basis to avoid claims for less favourable treatment of part-time workers.

What should employers do now?

Employers must review their employment contracts now, to understand if their people are entitled to the additional Bank Holiday, full time and part time workers.

If there are any not entitled to it, employers can look for examples from the past, such as the approach used for the additional Bank Holiday for the 2011 Royal Wedding? Ideally, there should be a consistent approach if there are people employed since then.

If employees are not entitled to the additional Bank Holiday, but the employer decides to allow them the extra day, this should be made clear, as it will help boost morale if people recognise they have received an additional benefit.

Rowberry Morris is an established law firm, with offices in Reading, Staines, Tadley and Richmond. It provides a wide range of legal services o businesses, families and individuals, including: commercial law; litigation and dispute resolution; employment law and property law. The firm also advises on family law, private client matters, Wills, powers of attorney and administration of estates

Anna Illingworth is a partner and head of the Employment team at Rowberry Morris and deals with contentious and non-contentious employment law issues, acting for employers and employees, advising in connection with all aspects of employment tribunal proceedings and appeals.

Image by Dave Crosby on Flickr CC BY-SA.