King’s Coronation 2023: Are all employees entitled to the additional bank holiday?
It has been announced that there will be an extra bank holiday to celebrate the King's Coronation (Monday 8 May 2023) which will form a special three-day weekend for many – but not for all!
Whether an employee does or doesn’t get this day off comes down to what’s in the contract of employment and their usual work pattern as there is no statutory entitlement to have bank holidays off work or to receive enhanced pay if they are required to work a bank holiday.
- If the contract says the employee is entitled to a number of days (e.g. 20 or 25) “ plus bank/public holidays”, then the extra day will need to be granted as additional leave. In that instance, an employer cannot insist that employees work on a public holiday, but they can seek their agreement to do so in exchange for a day in lieu at a later date.
- If your contract of employment indicates that employees are entitled to a number of days (e.g. 20 or 25) “plus the usual 8 bank/public holidays in England and Wales” (and ideally states the specific bank holidays to which this refers e.g. Christmas Day, Easter Monday etc), then you have the flexibility to decide if you are going to grant the additional bank holiday or not.
- If nothing exists in writing then those rights may be agreed upon verbally and an employer may use their discretion but consideration should be given to how other additional bank holidays have been managed, such as the Queens Platinum Jubilee.
Options for Employers
With the coronation happening on a Saturday, if your business is normally open on a weekend or for sectors such as hospitality, security, or healthcare, you may be requiring all staff to work or you may wish to enforce minimum staffing levels to ensure you can deal with the demand in your particular sector.
Other employers may choose to shut up shop on the bank holiday and enforce annual leave. While this gives employees the day off who would have otherwise had to work, it will be taken out of their annual leave allowance and therefore employers in these circumstances must provide double the notice of the time employees are required to take off, in this case, a minimum of two days’ notice.
The additional bank holiday will apply to all schools in the UK, which could cause some challenges for working parents who are not entitled to the day off. If childcare arrangements fall through at the last minute, such employees will be able to exercise their statutory right to take time off for dependants. Of course, they can also request annual leave as per the usual procedures.
Part time employees
For part-time workers, the position is the same - their entitlement depends on the wording of their contract. If they are entitled to the additional bank holiday under their contract, but this is not their normal working day, their holiday entitlement should be adjusted on a pro-rata basis to avoid claims for less favourable treatment.
What if an employee refuses to come in to work?
Where an employee is not entitled to the day off but refuses to come into work then disciplinary action may be taken subject to the proper procedures being followed.
If you would like advice from the Employment team in respect of any of the issues raised here or more generally, please do not hesitate to get in touch.