Are employees entitled to be paid for the Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday?
To celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee there will be an extra bank holiday on Friday 3 June 2022. The late May Bank Holiday has been moved to Thursday 2 June. This will be a long 4-day weekend for most staff, but not all. It all depends on the wording in the employees’ contract and the days they usually work.
The employment contract
The contract should state what holiday the employee is 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 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. This additional Bank Holiday is not usual and therefore the employee will not automatically be entitled to it.
However, the employer could exercise their 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.
Employees who normally work on Bank Holidays
These employees 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.
Whether they are entitled to the day off or the enhanced pay will depend on the wording in the employment contract.
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 need to review their employment contracts to see if their staff are entitled to the additional Bank Holiday. If they are not entitled to it, what was the approach when we had an additional Bank Holiday for the royal wedding in 2011?
Ideally there should be a consistent approach if there are staff that were employed since 2011. If employees are not entitled to the additional Bank Holiday but the employer decides to give it to them, this should be made clear as it will only help boost morale if staff recognise they have been given an additional benefit.
If you have any queries regarding this article or need employment advice, please contact a member of the Employment Team on firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on 0118 951 6621.