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Bank Holidays - Do I Have to Work? - ** accurate as of November 2015 **


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The subject of Bank Holiday working and the question of whether an employee is entitled to time off work on a Bank Holiday occurs frequently

Bank Holidays have no special status in employment law. There is no automatic right to a paid day off work, and whether you benefit or not will depend on your contract of employment rather than any legal right. An employer is only legally obliged to give an employee the minimum statutory paid holiday entitlement each year. Currently this amounts to 5.6 weeks holiday (or 28 days in the case of an employee working five days a week), and importantly this can include Bank Holidays. A contract of employment can give you more than this entitlement, but not less.

 

As to whether you are required to work on Bank Holidays will depend on your contract. You may, for example have a contract which specifies that you are not required to work on normal Bank Holidays (of which there are eight), and if this is the case then it is perfectly in order for the employer to not recognise an 'extra' Bank Holiday as a day off for staff, particularly where the business will operate as normal on that day. If however your contract is less specific and does not require you to work on Bank Holidays (ie without specifying whether these are the 'normal' Bank Holidays or 'special' ones), then you might reasonably expect not to have to work on that day. Sadly if you do have to work, then the employer is not obliged to pay you more money, or give you time off in lieu, unless again, there is a clause in the contract which specifies enhanced pay or compensatory time off for working on a Bank Holiday.

 

It is also worth remembering that a contract need not necessarily be in writing, as depending what is 'the norm' for the organisation, an entitlement can be built up through Custom and Practice, or by what entitlements are given to other staff in the organisation.

 

The starting point in answering the inevitable 'can they do this' question will always be the terms in the contract, or what is customary for the business in the absence of a specific clause. A good employer will discuss the matter with the workforce so that everybody knows what is happening, and who is affected.

 

The following sites have some useful information relating to Bank Holidays:-

 

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Governmentcitizensandrights/LivingintheUK/DG_073741

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Employment/Employees/Timeoffandholidays/DG_10029788

http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/index/life/employment/faq_index_employment/faq_employment_entitlement_to_bank_holidays.htm

Any advice given is done so on the assumption that recipients will also take professional advice where appropriate.

 

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Nice stuff SW.

 

ACAS has (or indeed had as right this minute it doesn't see to be working!) some specific guidance on this 'extra royal bank holiday' this year.

 

http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=3197

 

From what I recall when I read it, I for a nice change, agreed with ACAS and they basically made the point you make above;

 

i.e. it is basically a contractual matter, as the underlying legal right, the WTR will not be amended, and will still say 28 days for qualifying worker in one complete holiday year.

 

I see the argument as being the following - (in theroy);

 

a) What is the contractual definition of a BH for the purposes of MY contract of employment (written or otherwise), then,

 

b) Does the Government 'declaration' of the extra day (unsure how this has been made is this via delegated legislation or merely a Governmental 'aspiration'??); more likely the later me thinks; mean that such 'extra day' falls within the definition of a BH in your contract.

 

e.g. if your HR dep't were lazy and contract just said, "20 days per year + each BH' then I can see the argument that it should be given if it is within the contractual definition of a, 'BH' - especially when contra proferentum is applied. But;

 

c) assuming the above applies and boss says NO. Are you willing to push for this in the current economic climate?

 

d) even if you got it the next argument would be to look at what the exact wording of the contract is as regards payment of this 'special' BH holiday; as, again, this will be a BH outside the WTR - could it be even unpaid ???? an open question not a statement.

 

Surely in reality most ER's will be sensible? To avoid problems and bad publicity from Royalist media outlets they will give the day.

 

Be interesting to see if a substantial number of ET claims are made as a result?

 

Watch this space I suppose.

 

Che

...................................................................... [FONT=Comic Sans MS]Please post on a thread before sending a PM. My opinion's are not expressed as agent or representative of The Consumer Action Group. Always seek professional advice from a qualified legal adviser before acting. If I have helped you please feel free to click on the black star.[/FONT] [FONT=Comic Sans MS] I am sorry that work means I don't get into the Employment Forum as often as I would like these days, but nonetheless I'll try to pop in when I can.[/FONT] [FONT=Arial Black][FONT=Comic Sans MS][COLOR=Red]'Venceremos' :wink:[/COLOR][/FONT][/FONT]

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I look at it this way. If my employers give me the day off, fine - I don't mind. If not, no problem, I was expecting to work anyway.

Frederickson - CCA Sent 11/4/07 - Lost - Claiming back from post office

Connaught Collections - CCA Sent 11/4/07 - No Agreement - returned to client

Lowell - CCA sent 11/4/07 - No agreement - returned to client

Moorcroft - CCA Sent 11/4/07 - No Agreement - returned to client

Red Castle - CCA Sent 11/4/07 - Copy returned but no T&C's

Robinson Way - CCA Sent 16/5/07

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  • 3 weeks later...

i have signed a contract at work which entitles me to have 20 days paid holiday and bank holidays....it doesnt state eight bank holidays now this week my boss has said we have to work with no extra incentive ie day in leiu or extra cash is this right?myself and eight others are in the same boat!

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In that case your employer should have taken action to notify a variation of contract when the extra Bank Holiday was announced.

 

How far are you prepared to upset your boss? You need to raise a grievance and point out that your contract would seem to indicate that next Friday should be a paid day off and asking for an assurance that in the absence of compensatory pay that you will receive an additional day's leave at a later date.

Any advice given is done so on the assumption that recipients will also take professional advice where appropriate.

 

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  • 8 months later...

my employer has stated i do not have 'enough' hours to have bank holiday entitlement, despite my contract stating i have 8 paid hols, i work 39 hour week and have been told my hours are part time, some day shift, some night shift? but it is all complusary, i.e no option, so why cant i take my bank holidays, xmas day, boxing day and new years day (rota system so take in lieu)??

'rise like lions after slumber, in unvanquishable number, shake your chains to the earth like dew, which in sleep had fall'n on you, ye are many, they are few.' Percy Byshse Shelly 1819

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thanks

'rise like lions after slumber, in unvanquishable number, shake your chains to the earth like dew, which in sleep had fall'n on you, ye are many, they are few.' Percy Byshse Shelly 1819

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  • 11 months later...

queens diamond jubilee holiday-- my company added a days annual leave to everybody, great except that around half the workforce work shifts so really cant have a day added. can they give out extra holiday to office staff and hourly paid workers but not give the salaried/shiftworkers anything?

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