Bank Holiday Helper

Whilst the thought of dealing with matters involving bank holidays can sometimes leave employers feeling in need of a holiday themselves, this doesn’t have to be the case. Below we look at some common questions employers can find themselves facing.

1. Do employees have a statutory right to time off on a bank holiday?

No, bank holidays do not have to be given as paid leave. Any right to time off depends on the terms of the employee’s contract of employment or custom and practice in the organisation.

It’s important to remember that all employees have a statutory minimum holiday entitlement of 5.6 weeks in each holiday year. An employer can choose in their contracts to include bank holidays as part of an employee’s statutory annual leave.

If an organisation treats bank holidays as normal working days, an employee will have to request to take a bank holiday as a day’s holiday if they would like that day off, just as they would do for any other day.

2. Does an employee have a statutory right to be paid extra for working on a bank holiday?

No, any right to an enhanced rate of pay such as double time or time and a half, depends on the employee’s contract of employment or custom and practice in the organisation.

3. What is the position regarding part time workers and bank holidays?

It’s important to remember that a part-time worker has the right not to be treated less favourably than a comparable full-time worker – this includes entitlement to bank holidays.

With this in mind, if an organisation gives paid time off on bank holidays, part-time employees should be given a pro-rated allowance of paid bank holidays, irrespective of whether or not they normally work on the days on which bank holidays fall. If you would like advice regarding holidays and part-time employees, please contact Kingfisher Professional Services Ltd.

4. If an employee is on holiday whilst on furlough, what should they be paid?

Employees will remain entitled to receive the holiday pay they would normally receive during periods of holiday when taken during furlough, this includes where they are entitled to bank holidays off under their contract. Employers can continue to claim the 80% grant (up to the cap) from the government to cover most of the cost of holiday pay, however employers will be required to pay the additional ‘top up’ amounts due to the employee over the furlough grant.

If you have an employment law matter you would like assistance with, please do not hesitate to contact Kingfisher Professional Services Ltd as we are happy to help.