With the announcement of a Bank Holiday on the day of the Queen’s funeral, many employees and employers will be wondering what the legal position is. The government has confirmed that the bank holiday will have the same status as any other bank holiday. This means:
- There is no statutory requirement to give employees this bank holiday.
- Some employees will already be entitled, under their employment contracts, to all bank holidays. Those employees are likely to be entitled to take this bank holiday off.
- Some employees will be entitled to either the usual 8 bank holidays only, or may have no contractual right to take off bank holidays at all. These employees are not entitled to take this bank holiday off unless specifically agreed with their employer. There is no general right to a day off in lieu.
It may not always be possible for employees to take this day off. This will particularly be the case where there is a need for continuity of service e.g. in settings such as care homes. Our advice though to employers is that, even if you do not allow employees to take this day off as a bank holiday, you should respond sensitively to requests for time off. This may be a particular issue for parents of school-age children who may find themselves obliged to look after children whose school is closed on that day.
More information can be found on the gov.uk website here: Bank holiday announced for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s State Funeral on Monday 19 September - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
How can we help?
For further help and advice on legal issues around the bank holiday for the Queen’s funeral, please contact our specialist employment lawyers.