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Bank holiday pay ?

There have been mixed feelings about Prince William and Kate Middleton’s big announcement mainly attributable to the additional bank holiday on 29 April 2011 that David Cameron has granted to mark this occasion. This spells bad news for employers but good news for employees.

It is a common thought among employees that they are entitled to paid time off on bank holidays. This is not the case, in fact there is no entitlement to be paid or even to time off on bank holidays; this has been brought about by convention. Employers should be wary if they have customarily paid employees for time off on bank holidays as they may impliedly have created a rod for their backs. From 1 April 2009 the Working Time Regulations 2007 increased the statutory holiday entitlement from 4.8 weeks to 5.6 weeks a year. In the UK most employers permit employees 28 days’ holiday inclusive of the bank holidays. With the 29 April 2011 bank holiday for the big wedding and 5 June 2012 for the Queen’s Jubilee do employers think the burden is all too much?

The position surrounding the additional bank holidays depends on the wording in employees’ contracts of employment. Those with 28 days inclusive of all public and bank holidays will have to take the day using their annual leave entitlement (unless employers are feeling generous). Those with contracts permitting 20 days plus all public and bank holidays are ideally placed to receive another paid day off.

Emily Yeardley

Article posted on: 19 April 2011

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