Will you and your staff be working on Friday April 29th this year? This is the day that Prince William will marry Kate Middleton, and it has been officially declared an additional bank holiday. But not every worker will be entitled to it.
Holiday Entitlement in Contracts of Employment
According to the Working Time Regulations 1998, all full time workers must be given 5.6 weeks of paid leave per year, or 28 days, with a pro rata entitlement for part time workers. However, the regulations do not stipulate that paid leave for bank holidays should be in addition to this, or that all employers must give their staff time off for bank holidays. So for employees, it really depends on what their contract of employment states. Some contracts stipulate that bank holidays are in addition to their annual leave entitlement, others do not, in which case the employer can oblige staff to work regardless of whether the day is designated a bank holiday.
Keeping your Staff Happy
If you provide a service which is needed seven days a week all year round, your staff will be on rotas which they probably won’t expect to be changed. You might however, decide to give some extra time in lieu of the day if that is possible, just to keep up morale. If you don’t normally recognise bank holidays for any other reason, you might want to offer an extra days leave across the board, again to give personnel a boost and an incentive to work hard and keep up their productivity.
Proximity to Easter and the May Bank Holiday
Those workers who normally have bank holidays in addition to their annual leave entitlement may be tempted to try and book time off between Easter and the royal wedding. If they normally work Mondays to Fridays, by taking three days leave, they would finish work on Thursday, April 21st and not return until Tuesday, May 3rd. Employers need to be prepared for this and have a strategy for how to deal with such applications in a fair way with no detriment to the business.
And if you intend to close shop for those three days, don’t forget to let your off-site bookkeepers know.