Additional Bank Holiday for 2022 – Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday Weekend

To commemorate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, there will be changes to bank holidays in 2022. The late May bank holiday, which would have fallen on Monday 30 May 2022, will be moved to Thursday 2 June 2022 and there will be an additional bank holiday on Friday 3 June 2022. The adjustment will take effect in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

This may affect employers’ operations, and the time off for employees. Employees do not have an automatic right to time off on Bank Holidays and this entitlement is set out in the contract of employment. Employers should check employee contracts to determine the effect of the date change and extra day on entitlements. Contractual wording on Bank Holidays can differ greatly so it is important to ascertain the specific position in order to ensure that: 

  • Contractual entitlements are not breached;
  • Employees know where they stand in terms of time off; and
  • Employers have sufficient cover on the affected days in order to maintain their operation.

The law does not prescribe how entitlement should be set out, but it is likely that a list of the Bank Holidays observed by the employer is provided in the contract. How this is worded will set out the entitlement to the moved Bank Holiday in May and the additional day in June.

Change from 30 May to 2 June 2022

Below are examples of ways that Bank Holiday entitlement can be expressed in the contract:

1. The contract states employees are entitled to time off on all Bank Holidays.

An employee will be contractually entitled to a day off on Thursday 2 June 2022 and not Monday 30 May 2022.

2. The contract provides a list of the Bank Holidays which employees are entitled to and this includes reference to the “Late May Bank Holiday” or “Spring Bank Holiday”.

Employees are contractually entitled to a day off on Thursday 2 June 2022 and not Monday 30 May 2022.

3. The contract provides a list of the Bank Holidays employees are entitled to and this includes reference to “Monday 30th May 2022” or “The last Monday in May”.

Because a Bank Holiday does not exist on those dates in 2022, this wording creates a contractual anomaly which does not clarify entitlement. Discussion and agreement with affected employees. 

4. The contract provides a list of days off as part of employees’ annual holiday entitlement but does not contain specific reference to them being “Bank Holidays.” For example, “You are entitled to time off on the following days…” and this includes reference to “Monday 30 May 2022” or “The last Monday in May”.

Employees will be contractually entitled to a day off on Monday 30 May 2022 and not Thursday 2 June 2022.

Contracts with flexibility

Some contracts will allow for flexibility with the days that are to be taken as a Bank Holiday, meaning that employers may ask the employee to work on the Bank Holiday listed and offer an alternative day off instead. This will be particularly useful for employers who use the wording shown in variations three and four above but want the employee to work on the Monday and take leave on the Thursday because, for example, the business shuts down on all Bank Holidays.

This flexibility can be expressed in different ways. A common example is:

“You are entitled to the following Bank Holidays, or alternative days as decided by us: …”.

Where this flexibility exists, employers are able to designate Thursday 2 June 2022 as a Bank Holiday.

Contracts with no flexibility

Employers with contracts which include variations three and four and do not reserve any flexibility to nominate alternative days may decide to keep the situation as it is – i.e. treat Monday 30 May 2022 as the ‘Bank Holiday’ and require employees to work on Thursday 2 June 2022.

Alternatively, if the employer wishes to align their Bank Holidays with the official UK Bank Holidays for 2022, a temporary amendment to employees’ terms and conditions will be needed. This could be via an informal approach where the matter is discussed with employees and agreement sought, which would then be confirmed in writing to remind employees of the agreement. The sooner this agreement can be made, the better, so that employee plans can be changed or made. 

Alternatively, if there is resistance to the change but there is a strong business need to change the Bank Holiday days, written agreement to the change from all employees will need to be obtained. Where an employer has 20 or more employees who are to be affected by the change, this approach would involve consultation with worker representatives or, where a trade union is recognised for collective bargaining and the terms that fall within that recognition agreement include annual leave entitlement, with the union.

Additional bank holiday on 3 June 2022

The following are examples of how the additional bank holiday might be dealt with under the employee’s contract. 

1. You are entitled to 28 days’ holiday during each full holiday year including the following public/bank holidays…             

If the contract only outlines the eight typical bank holiday days, there is no contractual obligation to allow the extra day on 3 June 2022.

2. You are entitled to 28 days holiday during each full holiday year including the 8 public/bank holidays.                           

An employee will be contractually entitled to eight bank holidays only. Employers can work with their employees to decide what 8 days they will use. For example, they might take 2 & 3 June 2022 but not have Easter Monday off.

3. You are entitled to 20 days holiday during each full holiday year in addition to public/bank holidays.               

An employee will be contractually entitled to all bank holidays in that leave year, including 3 June 2022.

4. In addition to the annual holiday entitlement, you are allowed the following bank holidays each year with pay or alternative days as decided by us…                                                                                     

If the contract outlines the eight typical bank holidays, there is no contractual entitlement to the extra bank holiday. However, employers might choose to allocate 3 June as their Late May/Spring Bank Holiday and have their employees work on Thursday 2 June.

Confirmation to employees 

Early communication with affected employees about the organisation’s intentions for the moved and additional Bank Holidays in 2022 is going to be essential, so that they plenty of time to plan.

Contact us to schedule your complimentary consultation.

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