What is changing?
The Spring Bank Holiday (normally due to take place on the last Monday in May) will be moved to Thursday 2 June. The additional Bank Holiday will then take place on Friday 3 June. We shall have two bank holidays back to back in 2022.
Are employees automatically entitled to the additional bank holiday?
This will depend on the wording of the employee’s contract of employment. It is important to note that employees do not have an automatic right to paid time off on a bank holiday. Employers are advised to check the wording of their employment contracts and communicate with employees about whether or not they will be required to work on the additional bank holiday in line with the terms of the contract.
Below are the most commonly used phrases relating to bank holidays that are seen in employment contracts and what they mean in terms of the employee’s right to have paid time off work on 3 June 2022.
“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 unlimited. Therefore, there is a contractual entitlement to paid time off on all bank holidays – including extra ones.
“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 and so they have no contractual entitlement to the 9 bank holidays in 2022.
“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. 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.
Even where there is no contractual entitlement to take the additional bank holiday as paid time off, many employers, as a gesture of goodwill, will decide to allow their employees to take the additional bank holiday or if that is not possible for business reasons, to provide time off in lieu.
Previous approach to time off for additional bank holidays
We previously enjoyed an additional bank holiday in 2011 (to mark the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge) and 2012 (for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee). Therefore, when considering whether to allow employees paid time off for the additional bank holiday in 2022 we would recommend considering what has been done previously. To the extent employees have previously been offered paid time-off or time-off in lieu to mark an additional bank holiday, to adopt a different approach in respect of the 2022 additional bank holiday may cause a negative reaction from employees (in particular those with long enough service to have been working when this happened previously).
The importance of planning….
It is important as we kick off 2022 that you alert all of your staff to this extra bank holiday, let them know whether they are going to benefit from it as part of their entitlement, or not, and adjust your holiday planners to take account of the fact that in 2022 there are 9 bank holidays instead of the ‘usual’ 8 days…