Platinum Jubilee – additional bank holiday in 2022

It was announced on 12 November that in 2022 the May Bank Holiday Weekend will be moved to Thursday 2 June and there will be an additional Bank Holiday on Friday 3 June to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. In light of this news many employers will be asking how the additional day will affect holidays and pay for their staff. The general rule is that it depends on what is stated in the employee’s contract of employment. Below is a summary of how this may affect employers or employees:

Do employees have a right to an extra day off?

Employees do not have an automatic right to a day off for bank holidays, including this additional bank holiday, so their entitlement will depend on the wording of their contract.

If the employment contract states that the employee’s annual leave entitlement is a particular number of days plus bank holidays on top, they will be entitled to the extra bank holiday within their holiday entitlement. However, if the contract states that the employee is entitled to a particular number of days holiday, and is silent on the issue of bank holidays, the employee will not be automatically entitled to an additional day’s leave.

Employees will also not be automatically entitled to an extra day if their holiday entitlement is set out in the contract as a certain number of days for example we commonly see “plus eight bank holidays” written into contracts.  Similarly if the contract sets out by name exactly which bank holidays are included there will be no automatic entitlement to the Platinum Jubilee bank holiday.

Even where there is no entitlement to it employers could consider providing the additional bank holiday as a gesture of goodwill, where possible.

 Do employees have a right to additional pay on the bank holiday?

There is no statutory right to extra pay for working on the Platinum Jubilee bank holiday. However, employees may be entitled to extra pay, such as half or double time, if that’s what is set out in their employment contracts.

What about part time employees?

Part-time employees should receive equal treatment to full-time staff, so employers will need to ensure that part-time employees receive the same amount of leave as comparable full-time staff, including bank holidays, on a pro-rata basis.

Check your contracts

If you are unsure about whether you have to or want to offer the additional bank holiday in 2022, it  as you should notify employees in good time before 3 June 2022 to prevent any misunderstandings about entitlements.

It may be that different employee groups within one organisation will have different contract terms and this is something for employers to look out for.  Our recommendation is that any policy in respect to the additional day be applied consistently across the organisation wherever possible.

Where can I find further advice and support?

Should you require any assistance with your employment arrangements as a result of this announcement, please do not hesitate to contact the co-head partners of our employment department.  Ewan Keen can be reached at 020 3206 2724 or ewan.keen@smab.co.uk  or Tamara Ludlow can be reached at 020 3206 2739 or tamara.ludlow@smab.co.uk.