The government announced that 8th May 2023 will be designated as a bank holiday to mark King Charles Coronation. But do employees have the right to take this additional bank holiday as paid leave?
The ability of an employee to take this additional bank holiday will be determined by the specific language of their employment contract.
If the contract of employment states that the annual holiday entitlement will be a certain number of days "plus public or bank holidays," they will be contractually entitled to take the additional holiday.
Where the contract stipulates a set number of bank holidays or specifically names the bank holidays, the employee will not be entitled to the additional day off.
Similarly, where the contract simply refers to 20 days plus “the usual bank holidays” or “commonly observed bank holidays”, it can be argued that as this is not a commonly observed bank holiday and employees are not entitled to it.
In these circumstances, the employee can still take the day off as paid leave out of their outstanding statutory entitlement for that holiday year (usually 20days per annum). Employers are however free to grant the additional day off at their absolute discretion. If you do so, it is important to make sure you highlight that it is a one-off benefit and not an entitlement. Employers have a duty to act consistently. It is therefore important to consider how employers treated The Queens Jubilee Platinum bank holiday. Was this day granted as a holiday? Were employees allowed a day off on the day of the Queens funeral?
With part-time employees, the construction of the contract of employment will determine their entitlement. It is recommended that you contact the HR Advice Line for further guidance.
It should be noted that this article is intended for guidance purposes only. If you have a specific inquiry, you are advised to call the Advice Line on 0116 243 9193.