With the sad news of the death of Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III has declared the day of her funeral (19th September 2022) to be a bank holiday.
Like the extra bank holiday for the jubilee you might be wondering if your employees are entitled to the bank holiday on the 19th September as an extra day off.
It is not a Yes or No answer so I have pulled together a guide for you so you know your obligations.
On the 8th September 2022 Queen Elizabeth II passed away peacefully at Balmoral in Scotland bring to the end the second Elizabethan era and the end of her reign after an amazing 70 years.
King Charles III has declared the day of her funeral (19th September 2022) to be a bank holiday but as a business how does this extra day's holiday affect you and what preparations do you need to make?
Are employees entitled to the extra bank holiday?
You are probably wondering if your employees are legally entitled to the extra bank holiday and if you will have to plan to give them the day off?
There is no one answer that fits everyone as it will depend on what your employee contract says.
There is no statutory right to paid time off on 19th September or on any other bank holiday however there is a legal right to a minimum of 5.6 weeks per year which may or may not include bank holidays. Again it depends on how your employment contract is worded.
Your employees may have a contractual right to paid time off on the day of Queen Elizabeth II's funeral, again depending on the wording of their contract. For example:
If their contract states that they are entitled to x days annual leave plus bank holidays then there is an entitlement to receive the 19th September 2022 bank holiday.
However below are a few examples of contract wording that means your employee would not be entitled to a paid day off on 9th September 2022.
‘‘X days annual leave which includes public holidays’
X days annual leave plus eight bank holidays’ (or ‘plus nine bank holidays’ for Scotland)
‘X days annual leave plus New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, May Bank Holiday, Spring Bank Holiday, Summer Bank Holiday, Christmas Day, Boxing Day
If your employees are not entitled to a paid day off you may have an expectation that they will work on the bank holiday unless it falls on a non working day for them.
If you decide to close your business for the day you have three options:
Gift them an extra non-contractual paid day off
Ask if they would like to take it as a days unpaid leave
Ask if they would like to take holiday from their annual entitlement
When is Queen Elizabeth II funeral?
The funeral of Queen Elizabeth II funeral will take place at Westminster Abby on 19th September 2022.
Are employees entitled to extra pay if they work on the 19th September 2022 bank holiday?
This question again depends on how the employee contract is written. If the contract states that the employee is entitled to an extra payment / higher rate of pay the employee should receive the higher rate if they work on 19th September. If there is nothing specifying an extra payment / higher rate of pay, then the employee is not entitled to an additional payment.
What do I as an employer need to do, to prepare for the bank holiday?
I have listed a few things you need to think about and communicate as soon as possible.
Firstly determine your employees contractual rights
Assess the impact of the extra bank holiday and plan your resources accordingly. If you are going to be open, how many staff will you require and how many could take holiday if they wish.
Decide on a fair way to allocate annual holiday requests if your business will remain open. There is likely to be a higher number of employees requesting 19th September 2022 as holiday if they are not entitled to the bank holiday. This process should be clearly communicated as soon as possible and make sure this process does not discriminate against part time workers which leaves you open to legal action being taken.
Communicate the information regarding the arrangements as soon as possible and in advance of 19th September 2022 to allow employees and yourself to plan. If you are closing for the day and the employee is required to take holiday or unpaid leave advance notice of this crucial so they can plan and budget accordingly.
Need more help?
If you need some more support I would love to help so drop me a line at email@example.com to arrange a call / meeting.