This year's spring and summer bank holidays will be eagerly awaited by many employees. Employers should make sure that they understand the rights of their workforce in relation to bank holidays, including in relation to part-time and shift workers. Under working time rules, workers are entitled to 5.6 weeks' minimum statutory leave a year, which may include public and bank holidays.
Employers that operate a holiday year from 1 April to 31 March and whose contracts of employment provide for "20 days' holiday plus bank holidays" may inadvertently take employees below their statutory holiday entitlement because of the way that Easter bank holidays fall in 2016 and 2017. We explain when this issue arises and what employers can do to remedy it.
Do you need to top up employees' holiday entitlement for the forthcoming leave year?
We provide an example letter informing workers of a one-off increase in their annual leave entitlement.
Policies and documents
- Bank and public holidays contract clause
- Part-time worker's bank holidays contract clause
- Letter giving an employee a one-off holiday increase because of the way Easter bank holidays fall in 2018 and 2019
- Bank and public holidays 2016 (England and Wales)
- Bank and public holidays 2016 (Scotland)
- Bank and public holidays 2016 (Northern Ireland)
- Bank and public holidays 2017 (England and Wales)
- Bank and public holidays 2017 (Scotland)
- Bank and public holidays 2017 (Northern Ireland)
- What are bank holidays?
- Can employees be required to work on bank holidays?
- Is an employee who is required to work on bank holidays entitled to extra pay?
- Are employees who are required to work on bank holidays entitled to pay in lieu of time off, or additional holiday?
- Are part-time workers entitled to bank holidays?
- If a part-time or shift-working employee is not scheduled to work on a bank holiday, are they entitled to an additional day's holiday?
- If an employer provides for pro rata bank holiday entitlement for part-time employees, how should it calculate this?
- If a part-time employee is contracted to work a half day on a bank holiday, are they entitled to an additional half day's holiday to take at another time?
- Can employees be required to take annual leave on bank holidays?
- Can bank holidays be included in a worker's statutory leave entitlement?
- What is an employee's holiday entitlement if an extra bank holiday is granted one year?
- If an employee's contractual holiday entitlement is a number of days "plus eight bank holidays" are they entitled to an extra bank holiday that is granted one year?
- Are employers required to provide pay or time off in lieu of bank holidays that coincide with a period of shared parental leave?
- Where an employee's period of paternity leave coincides with a bank holiday, is the employer under any obligation to provide a compensatory day off or pay in lieu?
- How should an employer deal with an employee who refuses to work on a bank holiday?
- Can Christian employees refuse to work on the bank holidays that are aligned to a Christian festival such as Easter?
- Should employees who practise religions other than Christianity be given additional time off in lieu where a bank holiday is aligned to a Christian festival such as Easter?
- How should an employer deal with an employee who calls in sick on a bank holiday?
Employment law manual
- Determine employees' entitlement to time off when an extra bank holiday is granted
- Establish a policy on bank holiday entitlement for part-time workers