We all want more holidays so when the government announced an extra bank holiday on Friday 3rd June to celebrate the Queen's platinum jubilee, monarchists and republicans celebrated. Thursday 2nd June replaces the usual late May bank holiday, which could make a four-day weekend.
But, if your business is in catering, hospitality, or retail, you may need more people, not fewer. Outside those sectors, what if too many staff members organise their annual leave around these dates? Where do you stand?
There is no statutory entitlement to bank holidays so your employees' entitlement will be governed by the terms of their contracts of employment. Check them now. If the contracts say employees are entitled 'to all bank and public holidays' then you will need to grant the extra day as additional leave. However, if it permits a specific number of public holidays or states that public holidays are included in the total annual leave entitlement, employees will need to request time off. You will not have to grant it, but you must act reasonably.
Don't wait for your employees to organise a street party before delivering the bad news. If you need them to work on 3rd June, tell them now and tell them why.
They may be disappointed. Decide whether you will make it up to them or discourage mysterious 48-hour illnesses with a form of incentive for those who work. If you allow it, make it clear that it’s a one-off benefit and it isn’t an entitlement.
Ensure that you do not treat part-time employees less favourably than full-time employees. If you are giving an extra day off, then give part-timers an appropriate pro-rated amount of leave. This may involve the part-time worker taking the additional leave on an alternative date if their usual working pattern means they will be off on 3rd June anyway.