Bank Holidays: Frequently Asked Questions

Peninsula Team

August 16 2017

Q. Do I have to give staff time off work for bank holidays? A. There is no legal right to holiday on bank holidays. You, the employer, decide whether your staff can have the time off—not the law. It is important to state your policy clearly in your employees’ contracts of employment. Q. Do I have to pay staff extra? A. This is a common question from employers. Like the right to time off, there’s no law saying you must pay a higher wage to staff working on a bank holiday. It’s your decision— again make sure you include it your contracts of employment. Q. I want to give staff time off—do I give them extra holidays? A. You must be careful with the holiday wording in your staff contracts. “28 days plus bank holidays” means 36 days off in England and Wales. Meanwhile, “28 days inclusive of bank holidays” means your staff must use up eight days of their annual leave allowance to take the time off for bank holidays. Finally, if your holiday leave year runs April to March, your staff may get more bank holidays in one year than another, depending on when Easter falls. You must make sure your staff don’t miss out on their holiday entitlement in a year with fewer bank holidays. Q. Is bank holiday leave for part time staff the same? A. Part-time staff have the same entitlement to bank holiday leave as your full-time staff (who work in a comparable role). It would be unfavourable treatment to give your full-time staff time off but refuse it for part-time staff. The safest approach is to give your part-time staff a pro-rata allowance of bank holidays, no matter if they usually work on the days when bank holidays might fall.

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