Bank holiday Guidance – 19th September 2022
Following the tragic death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and the order by King Charles III that an additional one-off bank holiday will take place on Monday 19th September 2022 for the Queen’s State Funeral.
This naturally raised a lot of questions from businesses and employees as to what the options are and whilst employers will want to make their own decisions about how to make the occasion, it is important to also consider what rights employees have in relation to this additional bank holiday.
The DfE have confirmed that Schools will be closed on Monday, however public transport such as trains and buses should continue as usual, although this may be on a reduced service.
- No automatic right to time off on a bank holiday
For starters, there is no statutory right to time off for bank holidays, so employers will need to review their contracts of employment to determine whether their people are entitled to time off on this additional bank holiday.
- If your contracts state employees will be granted 5.6 weeks annual holiday or 20 days annual leave plus 8 public / bank holidays – this may provide some flexibility as to whether the employee wishes to grant the additional holiday, however, please be mindful that the UK will have 2 further bank holidays in December.
- Should the contract refer to all bank / public holiday, the employer will be required to grant the extra day as paid leave.
Whilst there is no automatic right to time off on a bank holiday, a significant factor for employers to consider when deciding what to do will be the impact on employee morale and engagement. At a time of national mourning, this is an opportunity to show respect and empathy.
- For part time employees
Should the business decided to close on Monday 19th September, and pay employees for the day off, consideration will need to be made for part time employees who do not work on the Monday. Employees must ensure that all part time employees are not treated less favourably than full-time employees. To avoid a complaint of less favourable treatment, employers should provide part time employees with a prorated bank holiday entitlement which would be included within their annual leave entitlement for the year.
- Communication and consistency is key
The earliest opportunity, communicate with your people! provide them some FAQs provide the options available and make sure any request for time off is approached consistently. Direct employees to an EAP (if available) or charity links to help with the grief – most importantly, talk to your people.
You may have new starters joining the business on Monday, communicate as early as possible what the business plans are and the expectation of the new starter.
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