5 things employers should know about bank holidays


Everyone loves a bank holiday unless you are a manager trying to work out your rights and obligations.  As we approach 4 bank holidays in April and May here is what you need to know about them.

1.There is no entitlement to have a bank holiday off work.

The law states that full time employees must be given a minimum allowance of 28 days holiday (or 5.6 weeks) each holiday year. A holiday year is determined by the employer and can start any month in the year so long as it runs for 12 months. Many employers choose January or April as the start of their holiday year but you could just as easily begin the holiday year in June. If there is no holiday year set by the employer it will be the month the employee began to work for the employer.

A contract may include bank holidays within the 28 day holiday allowance but for those that don’t those 28 days can be used at any time.

2.No entitlement to double pay, time and a half or time of in lieu.

Once again this may be different if you have stated this in the employment contract but there is no automatic right for an employee to be paid anything more than their basic salary when working a bank holiday.

3.What happens if my staff don’t work on a Monday?

It is against the law to treat part-time staff differently to full-time staff and this still applies where bank holidays are concerned. Often part-time worker do not work on a Monday or a Friday. This doesn’t mean they should get less holiday. The best way to do this is to allow part-time or non Monday staff to have a different day off so that they still get their full holiday allowance.

4.What about staff that have been off sick for a while?

Employees who have been off work due to illness for a little while should continue to be treated the same as they would be treated during a normal working day. This means that if an employee is receiving company sick pay (CSP) or statutory sick pay (SSP) they continue to do so. Employees continue to accrue holiday allowance during periods of ill health absence so they will not miss out as they can the day off at another time.

5.What about casual workers?

Casual workers also known as zero hours workers are also entitled to holiday pay. This is calculated based at 12.07% of the hours they have worked to date. The nature of casual work mean that you cannot insist they work on a bank holiday.

If you would like assistance with any Employment Law or HR issues in your business please email info@orchardemploymentlaw.co.uk