In recognition of the Queen’s platinum jubilee, there will be an additional bank holiday in June 2022.
What does this mean from a payroll perspective – what rights do your staff have?
A long weekend
There are normally eight bank holidays a year in England and Wales, nine in Scotland, and ten in Northern Ireland. The government has announced an additional bank holiday in 2022 (Friday 3 June), to celebrate the Queen’s platinum jubilee. In addition, the late May bank holiday has been moved to Thursday 2 June. This means that employers face the unusual situation of there being two back-to-back bank holidays in June 2022.
What type of holiday?
The Working Time Regulations 1998 do not differentiate between bank holidays and other days and do not prevent employers from including them in the 5.6-week minimum annual leave entitlement. There is no statutory right for employees to take bank holidays as leave (other than in the banking sector). If the contract provides that the employee is entitled to take bank holidays as annual leave, you cannot insist that the employee works and cannot take any form of disciplinary action if they don’t come to work.
It’s important to check the wording in your contracts to determine whether you need to honour the additional day’s holiday. Where the contract entitles employees to take leave on “all bank and public holidays”, you will be required to grant the extra day as leave. Conversely, if the contract states that employees are entitled to the “usual” bank holidays or stipulates 20 days plus eight bank holidays you need not grant an extra day. But you might choose to do so as a goodwill gesture. If an employee is asked to work on a bank holiday, and their contract indicates that they may be required to do so, they cannot refuse to work. If the employee requests holiday rather than working, you can refuse the request by giving a counter notice which must be at least equivalent to the number of days leave that the employee is requesting.
In sectors where employees will be required to cover a bank holiday, you may need to get their agreement to work on specified bank holidays in return for a day off in lieu at another time. Additional payment rates may also be used to incentivise attendance but are not compulsory. However, if these have been paid historically they may be seen as custom and practice and therefore an implied contractual term.
Pro advice. Premium rates for working on a bank holiday are not to be treated as national minimum wage pay, the enhanced rate over and above normal pay should be stripped out of the calculation.
You must ensure that part-time employees are not treated less favourably than full-time employees and this can be the case if part-time employees do not work on Mondays or Fridays where most bank holidays fall. To avoid a grievance related to less favourable treatment, many employers provide part-time employees with a pro rata bank holiday entitlement based on the number of hours worked.
If a full-time employee working 37.5 hours per week is entitled to eight bank holidays per year, that equates to 60 hours of leave on bank holidays, i.e. eight days of 7.5 hours.
A part-time employee working a three-day week of 22.5 hours would be entitled to a pro rata bank holiday allowance of 36 hours (22.5 ÷ 37.5 x 60).
The employer should allow the part-time employee to book their 36 hours of pro rata bank holiday entitlement as normal annual leave and if they are due to work on a bank holiday equally they would have to book this as annual leave in order to take the day off. If the business is closed on a bank holiday the employee would have to book that as annual leave.
There is no statutory right to take holiday on a bank holiday or to be paid an additional rate for working that day but if this has happened regularly in the past it may have become an implied contractual entitlement. To avoid issues with part-time staff, consider giving them a pro rata bank holiday entitlement based on the number of hours worked.