Employment Law | Bank Holiday Leave

This time next week many employees will be looking forward to their last day at work for at least three days but for many, there will be an additional day off on the Tuesday, as the spring bank holiday has been moved to Monday June 4th, with the 5th being given to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

However, confusion has arisen over whether the Tuesday is automatically a day off for staff, with the answer being that it isn’t and depends on the wording of the employee’s contract.  It also isn’t automatic that staff be paid extra for working on these days and is again dependent on the contract.

But given than most of the country will be celebrating the Jubilee, not giving employees the day off – and running the risk that they will merely call in sick anyway – could lead to enormous ill-will.

As Brendan Barber, former TUC general secretary said: “The annoyance and ill-will that will be caused by forcing staff to work while everyone else is out having a nice time will far outweigh any benefits from one extra day in the office.”

And another potential headache for employers is that because of the bank holiday, employees can accrue nine days of leave by taking the remaining three days off, so many will be short-staffed and may have to reply on temps for the period surrounding the bank holiday.

As Acas national helpline manager Stewart Gee said: “For many, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee is an opportunity to celebrate and, with two bank holidays at the beginning of June, employers may receive more requests for time off.”

“It’s important to be as fair and consistent as possible by having a policy on how to manage time off and leave requests so employees can join in the celebrations and employers can maintain morale at work.”

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Mackrell Turner Garrett Solicitors in London