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Bank Holiday Entitlement & Annual Leave Guidance for Businesses

June 18, 2019 | By: Victoria Owings

bank holiday entitlement
When it comes to annual leave, bank holiday entitlement can cause quite a lot of confusion, particularly when you include part time workers, enhanced rates for the bank holidays and workers with irregular hours. We take a look at some of the most common questions we get asked, and provide practical advice for businesses.

Q1: Is there any legal requirement for an employee to have the bank holiday as a day off?

  • No, bank holidays in the Working Time Regulations are part of normal annual leave, as long as staff get the at least 5.6 weeks annual leave per year. If your business is open over a bank holiday, you can insist that staff work as long as they get the time off later in the year.

Q2: If we pay an employee double time for working on a bank holiday do we have to give them the time later in the year?

  • This depends on 2 things, what the contract says and if the staff get over the statutory entitlement. If the contract doesn’t give any indication that they are getting the enhanced rate instead of the time back, they would need the time back in lieu. If there is a contractual clause that states that the double pay on bank holidays is in lieu of holidays, then the holiday entitlement would need to be checked. If employees get over the statutory entitlement this may be ok, but you need to be mindful of how many bank holidays staff are working. However if staff only get 5.6 weeks annual leave, then the holidays cannot be substituted for payment unless on termination.

Q3: We have 2 part time staff, one works Monday to Wednesday and the other works Tuesday to Thursday, what is their entitlement?

  • For an employee who works 3 days a year they would get the statutory minimum of 16.8 days paid annual leave in the holiday year.
  • If there were 6 bank holidays that fell on a Monday then the first employee would have to use 6 days annual leave for these days, leaving 10.8 days for them to book in line with the holiday procedure.
  • However, if no bank holidays fell on the days that the second employee works, they would have the full 16.8 days to book in line with the annual leave procedure. Even though this may seem unfair, both staff get 16.8 days paid annual leave over holiday year.
  • Q4: We have staff that work irregular hours and days, how do we calculate their bank holiday entitlement?

    • This depends on if your business is open over bank holidays, if it is open then you can ask them to work as part of the normal rota, if not then you can enforce annual leave. To do this you need to ensure that you give twice the amount of notice that you are asking them to take i.e. if you are asking them to take 1 days annual leave, you need to give at least 2 days’ notice. Remember however, if staff are contract to certain hours but not days, and you enforce annual leave, this counts towards those contacted hours.

    If you would like more information on calculating bank holiday entitlement please contact our expert Employment Law team today for free, no-strings advice:
    CALL 033 33 215 005 | Email Us

About the Author
Victoria Owings
Victoria Owings
Victoria Owings, Author at Wirehouse Employer Services

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