Royal Wedding

What does the extra bank holiday mean for employers?

It has been confirmed that there will be an extra bank holiday on 29th April 2011 for the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

The news has, unsurprisingly, been well received by employees.

Employees should not assume, however, that they will benefit from the extra bank holiday as they do NOT have an automatic right to paid leave on bank holidays.

Any right to time off or extra pay for working on a bank holiday will depend on the terms of their contract of employment. If, for example, their employment contract provides for a certain number of days annual leave PLUS bank holidays then the employee will be entitled to the extra bank holiday on 29th April in addition to the usual eight bank holidays. However, if the employment contract simply states that the employee is entitled to a certain number of days holiday per year then, provided that the employer is complying with the Working Time Regulations 1998, this will be inclusive of bank holidays and the employee will have no contractual entitlement to the extra day off.

Whatever the contractual situation, employers are advised to notify employees about holiday entitlement in 2011 as soon as possible as many employees will assume that they are entitled to the additional bank holiday.
If this is not the case, the sooner employees are notified the less potential there is for serious disputes arising.

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