Is there an automatic entitlement to the additional bank holiday?
This all depends on the wording in the employee contracts. It is also important to know that employees do not have an automatic right to paid time off on bank holidays.
Here are a few common phrases found in employee contracts regarding leave.
Entitlement to time off on additional bank holidays
“20 days holiday per annum plus bank holidays”
Yes – employees will have a contractual entitlement to take paid time off on the additional bank holiday as the wording on holiday entitlement in the contract is not limited to the normal/usual bank holidays observed in England and Wales. Therefore, there is a contractual entitlement to paid time off on all bank holidays – including bank holidays which are in addition to those normally observed.
“28 days holiday per annum”
Potentially – where the contract is silent on bank holidays, the employee has the ability to book using their 28-day holiday allowance any of the bank holidays, including the additional bank holiday. However, there is no increase in holiday entitlement as a result of the additional bank holiday.
“20 days holiday per annum plus 8 bank/public holidays”
Potentially – similar to above, the contract is silent on which bank holidays are included within the employee’s holiday entitlement and therefore an employee has the ability to book the additional bank holiday as paid time off in June 2022. This will, however, mean that the employee will not be entitled to one of the later bank holidays in the year. We would recommend this is clarified to the employee at the time of booking annual leave.
“20 days holiday per annum plus New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Early May Bank Holiday, Spring Bank Holiday, Summer Bank Holiday, Christmas Day and Boxing Day”
No – where there is a list of bank holidays contained within the contract, the employee will only be entitled to receive paid time off on those bank holidays listed (whether this list is some or all of those usually observed in England and Wales). Employees with such wording in their contract will be entitled to paid time off on 2 June 2022 as this is the date the bank holiday referred to as the “Spring Bank Holiday” has been moved too but not on 3 June 2022.
“20 days holiday per annum plus the usual bank/public holidays observed in England and Wales”
No – as the additional bank holiday is not usually observed in England and Wales, employees would not be entitled to take paid time off on the additional bank holiday.
“20 days holiday per annum plus the 8 bank/public holidays usually observed in England and Wales”
No – as above, the bank holidays which are included within holiday entitlement are listed and therefore there is no entitlement to the additional bank holiday.
Employers Guide for more info.
If there is no contractual entitlement for the additional bank holiday, many employers as a gesture of goodwill, may decide to allow their employees to take the additional bank holiday, or if that is not possible due to business reasons then time off in lieu