The Queen's Funeral Bank Holiday - What it means for Employers
We are all deeply saddened at the death of Her Majesty the Queen and forever grateful for her many years of devoted service to our country. Our sympathies are with her family.
After the devastating news, we understand that there may be a lot of uncertainty about what this means regarding going into work.
To make this process as easy as possible we have put together the following information to answer any questions you may have.
Are employees automatically entitled to the additional bank holiday?
The legal entitlement to this additional bank holiday depends on the wording of the employee’s contract. Employees do not have an automatic right to paid time off on a bank holiday and there is no statutory obligation on an employer to allow their workforce time off because this day has been chosen as a bank holiday.
This does not mean that employers must give employees time off. Most contracts of employment will specify the particular bank holidays they observe whereas others may simply say they are entitled to all bank holidays without specifying days.
The wording here makes the contract silent on bank holidays, which means the employee can book days off using their 28-day holiday allowance including any bank holidays both usual and additional.
What are the entitlements for part-time employees?
Part-time employees who do normally work on Monday may ask for this additional day off if their full-time colleagues are granted it. It is advised for consistency to offer part-time employees the equivalent holiday on a pro-rata basis
Key information for employers
In recent years, we have received additional bank holidays both for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding in 2011 and the Diamond Jubilee in 2012 – therefore when you consider whether to allow employees paid time off this year, we would recommend considering what has been done previously as deviation from this may cause a negative reaction from employees, due to the deeply sad nature of the bank holiday.
We also recommend unless it is not possible for business reasons, that employers as a gesture of goodwill to mourn the loss of Her Majesty the Queen allowing your employees to take the additional bank holiday or provide the time off in lieu.
Whatever you decide, we urge you to try to communicate to all staff as soon as possible, if you have not done so already and confirm it in writing.
The answer to all these problems is to make sure that your contracts are clear and holiday entitlement is clear.
There are many variations of wording employers can use within their contracts, so what we recommend is that an open conversation is conducted with all employees to make it clear what their entitlement is.
If after reading this you are still a little unsure about what this means for you or your business, we are happy to help as always – feel free to email us at email@example.com or call 01455 444222.