If a part-time or shift-working employee is not scheduled to work on a bank holiday, is he or she entitled to an additional day's holiday?

An employer's obligation to part-time workers must be considered in light of the Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000 (SI 2000/1551), under which part-time workers are entitled to the same terms as comparable full-time workers, but on a pro rata basis.

The employer must ensure that a part-time employee receives his or her pro rated entitlement if bank holidays are included in the employee's statutory minimum holiday entitlement, or if the employer grants an entitlement that exceeds the statutory minimum to its full-time workers.

To avoid treating a part-time employee less favourably than full-time employees, the employer should look at how many bank holidays the part-time employee will benefit from in light of the days of the week he or she works. If this results in a shortfall in the part-time employee's entitlement to bank holidays, the employer should allow him or her additional holiday in lieu to take at another time.

Part-time or shift-working employees who do not normally work on Mondays (when most bank holidays fall) would not benefit from as many bank holidays as other employees if they are not allowed time off in lieu. The decision in McMenemy v Capita Business Services Limited [2007] IRLR 400 CS suggests that, where an employer operates a seven-day-a-week business where full-time employees who do not work on Mondays also lose out on bank holidays, it is lawful for part-time employees to be treated the same way. However, for employers that operate a five-day-a-week business, it would be only part-time employees who would lose out on bank holidays, resulting in less favourable treatment, which could be unlawful under the Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000. It is therefore safer to follow the best practice approach recommended in government guidance (on the National Archives website) to give part-time employees a pro rated allowance for paid bank holidays, irrespective of whether or not they normally work on the days on which bank holidays fall.