Guidance for employers: who is entitled to take time off for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee bank holiday?
29 / 03 / 2022
We have seen a number of queries from employers asking whether their employees are entitled to take time off for the additional bank holiday in 2022 to commemorate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
The annual Spring bank holiday, which is usually scheduled at the end of May, will take place on 2 June 2022, and this will be followed by the extra bank holiday on 3 June 2022, thereby creating a four-day long weekend. Similar additional bank holidays have been given in the past to commemorate special Royal events, including the wedding of William and Kate in 2011 and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012.
The Platinum Jubilee bank holiday means that there are nine bank holidays in 2022 (rather than the usual eight). Employers will want to know whether they are required to give the additional day to employees as an extra day of leave. The answer? Yes and no – it depends on the employment contract.
Check your employment contracts
Employers should refer to the employee’s employment contract, as holiday entitlement will vary depending on the wording used.
If an employment contract states that an employee is entitled to bank holidays in addition to their annual leave entitlement and does not state the number or specific days of the bank holidays, it will be interpreted that employees will be entitled to all bank holidays – including the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee bank holiday in 2022.
However, if the contract states that the employee is entitled to eight bank holidays or the “usual” bank holidays, or bank holidays are included in an employee’s annual leave entitlement of a set number of days, the employer will not be required to give the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee as an additional day of leave.
We have included below some examples of common wording used in employment contracts, and whether this means that the employee is entitled to additional bank holidays:
|Contractual provision||Is the employee entitled to the additional bank holiday?|
|The employee is entitled to 28 days’ paid holiday per annum (inclusive of bank holidays in England and Wales or days in lieu where required to work).||The contract does not provide specifically for this and so it will be the employer’s choice. This is the usual contractual position for those working in industries where bank holidays are often worked, for example, hospitality and retail. As holiday is limited to 28 days in total however, if employees are given this day as holiday (or a day in lieu), then this will reduce the number of days left for them to take as they choose.|
|The employee is entitled to 20 days’ paid holiday per annum plus bank holidays in England and Wales.||Yes, the number of bank holidays are not specified.|
|The employee is entitled to 20 days’ paid holiday per annum plus bank holidays in England and Wales or a day in lieu where required to work.||Yes, the employee is entitled to the additional bank holiday. However, the employer can require the employee to work on this/other bank holiday(s), but in those circumstances it must give the employee a day in lieu.|
|The employee is entitled to 20 days’ paid holiday per annum plus eight [listed] public holidays in England and Wales.||No, the employee is entitled to the eight bank holidays listed in their contract. The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee bank holiday will not be included. If the employee wants to take the additional bank holiday as a day of leave, they will need to request it in the usual way and use one of their days of holiday.|
|The employee is entitled to 20 days’ paid holiday per annum plus the usual public holidays in England and Wales.||No, the employee is entitled to the ‘usual’ eight bank holidays, which will not include the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee bank holiday. If the employee wants to take the additional bank holiday as a day of leave, they will need to request it in the usual way and use one of their days of holiday.|
In addition to contractual wording, employers should also consider what they did in previous years with an additional bank holiday. Where the additional day of holiday was given previously, then employees may consider that it is an implied term of their contract that they will be given it on this occasion, or at least an expectation of such.
Consideration should also be given to part-time employees who should be treated in the same way as their full-time colleagues, with entitlements pro-rated to reflect their working hours.
Can an employer decide to give this as a day of leave anyway?
Yes absolutely and this is likely to be well received by employees, which is particularly important during the current “Great Resignation”.
If you have further questions about this, please feel free to get in touch with a member of the team.