Are Employees Entitled to an Extra Day of Holiday for Jubilee? - MLP Law

Are Employees Entitled to an Extra Day of Holiday for Jubilee?

  • Employment Law
  • 23rd May 2022

This year, it has been decided that the Spring bank holiday (normally due to take place on the last Monday in May) will be moved to Thursday 2 June. An additional bank holiday will then take place on Friday 3 June. With this in mind, employers want to understand if they must provide the additional day of annual leave to staff.

By aleks

MLP Law

This year, it has been decided that the Spring bank holiday (normally due to take place on the last Monday in May) will be moved to Thursday 2 June.  An additional bank holiday will then take place on Friday 3 June.  With this in mind, employers want to understand if they must provide the additional day of annual leave to staff.
 
Essentially, UK law requires that all full time employees are entitled to a minimum of 28 days (or 5.6 weeks) of annual leave in each holiday year.  A business can determine when that leave year should commence and end.
 
This right is reflected in the employee’s contract of employment but can be expressed in a variety of ways.  Whether or not an employer will be contractually obligated to give an employee an extra day of annual leave, in respect of the Platinum Jubilee, will depend on that wording.
 
Certainty in Contractual Clauses
Some clauses will be clear, for example, a contractual term entitling the employee to ‘20 days holiday per annum plus bank holidays’ will mean that the employer will be required to allow an employee an additional day of leave.  Conversely, a term providing for ‘28 days holiday per annum, including all bank and public holidays’ will not.
 
Similarly, a contract that lists the bank holidays that are included in the employee’s entitlement (for instance, Christmas Day, Easter Monday etc), will mean that the employee will not be entitled to an extra day for this unique bank holiday.  The same rationale applies to a contractual term entitling the employee to the bank holidays usually observed in England and Wales, as the bank holiday is not one that is usually observed.
 
Element of Choice for Employee
If, however, the clause reads 20 days annual leave per year, plus 8 bank holidays, then the employee will be able to choose to take the Jubilee bank holiday but it will be instead of another bank holiday at some other point in the year – the employee will not receive an extra day of leave.
 
That element of choice will also apply if the contract simply states that the employee is entitled to ’28 days annual leave per annum’.  The employee can determine if they want to use one of their 28 days to enjoy the bank holiday scheduled for 3 June.
 
Of course, nothing in the contract will prevent employers from generously adding an extra day of annual leave entitlement in honour of Her Majesty, although if this approach is adopted, employers should clarify in writing that the extra day is for 2022 only.
 
If you would like advice from the Employment team at MLP Law in respect of any of the issues raised here or more generally, please do not hesitate to get in touch on 0161 926 9969 or employment@mlplaw.co.uk, or follow us on Twitter @HRHeroUK.

About the expert

Stephen Attree

Managing Partner

Stephen is the Owner of MLP Law and leads our Commercial, IP and Dispute Resolution teams which provide advice on all aspects of the law relating to mergers, acquisitions, financing, re-structuring, complex commercial contracts, standard trading terms, share options, shareholder and partnership agreements, commercial dispute resolution, joint venture and partnering arrangements, IT and Technology law, Intellectual Property, EU and competition law, Brexit and GDPR.

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