Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday – Considerations for Employers

The government has confirmed an additional four-day bank holiday in June 2022 to mark the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.

The Spring Bank Holiday, which usually takes place at the end of May, will be moved to Thursday 2 June to accommodate the extended break. The additional Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday will take place on Friday 3 June, creating a four-day weekend.

How does it affect your employees?

Employees do not have a statutory right to bank holiday entitlement, as it is dependent on the wording of your contracts of employment and employee handbook. We suggest that employers check employment contracts to determine whether employees have the right to have paid time off work on 3 June 2022, whilst not forgetting that the bank holiday can be granted as a gesture of goodwill where there is no automatic entitlement.

Contractual entitlement to take the additional bank holiday

If employees have a contractual right to paid time off on bank holidays, they will be entitled to take paid time off on Thursday 2 June, rather than the usual date in late May.

Whether employees are automatically entitled to the additional bank holiday on 3 June will depend on the wording of their employment contract. Below are some alternative phrases in employment contracts and what they mean for employers:

An employment contract states, "[x] days holiday per annum plus bank holidays."

Employees will have an automatic, contractual entitlement to take paid time off on the additional bank holiday. The wording in the contract is not limited to the usual bank holidays, meaning there is an entitlement to paid time off on all bank holidays, including any additions to the usual dates.

An employment contract states "[x] days holiday per annum."

The contract is silent on the number of bank holidays; employees can book any bank holidays (including the additional one) as paid time off using their holiday allowance. However, there will be no increase in holiday entitlement due to the additional bank holiday.

Where an employment contract states "[x] days holiday per annum plus 8 bank holidays."

Again, the contract is silent on which bank holidays may be taken but limits the number to 8.  Employees can book any bank holidays (including the additional one) as paid time off using their holiday allowance. As they are entitled to 8 bank holidays, if an employee books the additional bank holiday as time off, they will lose their entitlement to one of the later bank holidays in the year.

Where the employment contract lists each bank holiday “[x] days holiday per annum plus New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday etc.”

There is no entitlement to the additional bank holiday when the bank holidays included within holiday entitlement are listed in the contract’s wording, such as: “[X] days holiday per annum plus New Year’s Day, Good Friday, etc.”

Granting the bank holiday where there is no automatic entitlement

Where employees are not automatically entitled to the additional bank holiday as paid time off, employers may wish to grant it to their employees as a gesture of goodwill. If it is not possible for all employees to take time off for business reasons, employers may provide time off in lieu as an alternative.

Key take aways

Employers must communicate with their employees well in advance, about whether or not they will be required to work on the additional bank holiday in line with the terms of the contract.

Another point to consider is custom and practice, which is an unwritten and implied contract term that reflects an unofficial practice which has become the norm. This means that if it’s a custom and practice of the employer to let their employees have bank holidays, it will be difficult to make an exception for this one additional bank holiday. Employers must also liaise with their in-house or outsourced payroll to update them on deductions in pay.

Employers should also consider the moral and engagement benefits if they allow their employees to take the additional bank holiday as paid leave versus the disgruntlement in not allowing the paid leave.

If you require assistance with your communication to staff regarding the Jubilee Bank Holiday please contact a member of the IHRS Team via HRhelp@ihrsolutions.co.uk, call 01604 709509 or visit our website.

About the author

Laura is a HR professional with 20 years’ experience with Financial Services, the majority of which has been within insurance. In her role with UKGI Group, Laura provides objective support to firms on employment law and HR issues. She uses her interpersonal skills and knowledge to work with firms to help them develop strong and resilient HR strategies and establish healthy organisational cultures. Laura’s clients receive personalised support with a real can-do approach.

Laura is an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). She holds a Diploma Professional Development Scheme.

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