A bank holiday for the coronation?
It was announced that an additional bank holiday on Monday 8th May 2023 would take place in the UK to celebrate King Charles III’s coronation. This is to allow residents of the UK and communities to celebrate the once-in-a-lifetime event.
Are employees entitled to the day off for the coronation?
There is no automatic right to time off for the coronation, but it will depend on what it says in the employee’s contract of employment. For example, if the employment contract says ‘20 days annual leave plus bank holidays’ then this means employees have a contractual entitlement to the additional bank holiday off work.
If it says ‘28 days annual leave inclusive of bank holidays’ or something similar, this means that it's up to the employer to decide whether employees have the day off for any additional bank holidays.
Are bank holidays a legal requirement?
There's no statutory leave entitlement to bank holidays in the UK. All full-time employees must receive an annual holiday allowance of 5.6 weeks (28 days) of paid annual leave a year. It's up to the employer to decide how employees can take this.
Are employees paid for time off on bank holidays?
This will depend on the wording of their employment contract. If in their contract it specifies that bank holidays are included in their holiday allowance, then your employees should be paid bank holidays.
If bank holidays aren't included, employees can take paid holiday leave on bank holidays.
Refusing holiday requests on bank holidays?
If there is an instance when you need employees to work on bank holidays but they want to take the day off, you should encourage them to book holiday following the organisation’s annual leave policy. For example, if you need them to book the time two weeks in advance.
If you have a legitimate business reason, you can refuse the holiday request. In this scenario, if the employee fails to turn up to work, you can treat it as an unauthorised absence.
Make sure as an employer, you are clear with employees about how the organisation will be handling the additional bank holiday.
If you allowed employees to take time off for the two extra bank holidays in 2022; the Queen's Platinum Jubilee or the Queen's funeral, but don't allow them to take the King Charles coronation off as a bank holiday, it could lead to poor morale and low productivity.
Organisations should take a common sense approach to granting the day off, as it's a once-in-a-lifetime event.
And don’t forget, make sure you don't treat any part-time workers less favourably than others.