Do employers have to let employees have the day off for Jubilee?

Many employers have been criticised for not allowing their staff paid leave on both Jubilee bank holidays, the 4th and 5th June.

But do you have to allow your staff to take this extra day off?

An additional bank holiday was created on Tuesday 5th June to make a four-day weekend to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee this year.

What does the law say?

The minimum holiday entitlement for any member of staff is 5.6 weeks per year.  For someone who works 5 days a week, this amounts to 28 days.

However, employees do not have a statutory right to take a day off on bank holidays, which has prompted a mixed response from employers in how to manage leave over the Jubilee period.

Some employee contracts, for example, entitle a worker to 20 days’ annual leave in addition to public holidays, meaning they will get the extra day off paid.

However, other contracts may give a global figure, including public holidays (eg 28 days including bank holidays), which would mean that employees do not have the right to the extra day. They have the same amount of holiday each year, irrespective of whether there is an extra bank holiday.

There is also no legal obligation to pay employees more for working on a bank holiday and again pay will depend on the contract.

What should you do?

It’s partly a matter for your judgment and partly a question of law.

You may feel that requiring employees to work on the Jubilee bank holiday will generate needless ill will.

However, if you don’t want to give staff the extra day’s paid leave, check the employment contracts first.

Whatever happens, plan ahead and make sure all staff know what’s expected.

And finally . . .

If you wish to discuss anything about holiday entitlement or staff contracts, feel free to call me on 01604 601 575.