Extra Public Bank Holidays

The government has announced that there will be an extra bank holiday in 2023 to mark the Coronation of King Charles III. Do you have to grant your workers the day off?

The extra bank holiday will fall on Monday, 8 May 2023, following the King’s Coronation on Saturday, 6 May 2023. It’s additional to the May bank holidays already scheduled to take place on Monday, 1 May 2023 and Monday, 29 May 2023, and it will apply across all four UK nations.

However, there’s no statutory right for workers to take paid annual leave on bank holidays; it’s dependent on the precise wording of their individual employment contracts (or workers’ contracts). If their contracts state that their annual leave entitlement is a certain number of days “plus bank and public holidays”, they will be entitled to the additional day off. Conversely, if their paid annual leave entitlement is expressed as a certain number of days “plus eight bank and public holidays”, or their contract states exactly which bank holidays are included, they won’t be entitled to the additional day off. You can still grant the day off anyway at your discretion; if you do, make clear that it’s a one-off benefit and isn’t an entitlement.

If the worker has a paid annual leave entitlement which includes all bank and public holidays, e.g. “28 days inclusive of bank and public holidays”, they will be entitled to the additional day off, but it won’t increase their overall number of days of paid annual leave entitlement. Conversely, if their paid annual leave entitlement includes a specified number of bank holidays, e.g. “28 days inclusive of eight bank and public holidays”, they won’t be entitled to the additional day off, but again you can grant it at your discretion if you wish to do so. Some workers’ contracts require them to work on bank holidays and those provisions remain enforceable.

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