Bank holiday announced for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's State Funeral - The impact for employers

Employers will be aware that the government has announced that the date of the Queen's Funeral (19 September) will be a bank holiday.

It has also issued some guidance on the impact for employers and workers. The guidance correctly states that there is no automatic statutory entitlement for a worker to have time off for bank holidays in the UK and that a worker's entitlement to a new bank holiday will depend on the contractual arrangements in place. Many employers will feel that whatever the strict legal position, they wish to permit employees to take paid time off on 19 September. However, some employers may need to consider the legal position, for example, because they already have commitments to certain events on that day and they might therefore require people to work. For those employers, the first thing to do is to check an employee's contract of employment. Contractual statements about holiday entitlement vary and can result in different outcomes for different employers. Examples we see in holiday clauses include an entitlement to:

  • “20 days holiday plus bank holidays”
  • “20 days holiday plus the usual bank holidays”
  • “20 days holiday plus the 8 usual bank holidays”
  • “20 days holiday plus the following bank holidays...”

Some staff handbooks might also include detail about bank holidays that is relevant. The precise wording in contracts and handbooks will determine the legal position. Employers will then need to balance any legal position with the emotional needs of their employees and other associated practicalities.

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The content of this page is a summary of the law in force at the date of publication and is not exhaustive, nor does it contain definitive advice. Specialist legal advice should be sought in relation to any queries that may arise.