Should businesses close for the Queen’s State Funeral on Monday 19 September 2022?

News  |   16 September 2022

Written by
Elliott Flockhart, Trainee Solicitor

The government has confirmed there will be an additional national bank holiday on Monday 19 September 2022 in light of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s State Funeral. The announcement means that many businesses across the country will be dealing with the logistics of the additional bank holiday. Employers will be required to determine issues such as whether the additional bank holiday entitles employees to an extra day off work, whether individuals who are contracted to work on bank holidays will be required to work, and whether individuals who are required to work on the bank holiday will be entitled to a day’s holiday in lieu.

These considerations will largely be a matter for discussion between employers and their employees. However, the starting point is to firstly consider the relevant clauses in the employee’s contract of employment. Employers will need to consider the specific contractual wording in the contracts relating to holiday, bank holidays and subsequent pay and determine whether employees are entitled to an additional day’s paid leave. For example, a contract may specify that an employee is entitled to 20 days holiday per year, plus bank and public holidays. Alternatively, some contracts may specific that an employee is entitled to 20 days holiday plus bank and public holidays that are normally observed i.e., 8 per annum. Conversely, other contracts may specify that an employee is entitled to 28 days holiday per year. Therefore, employers must determine whether the contract outlines a fixed number of days paid holiday, or whether the employee is entitled to take an additional bank holiday off, subject to other provisions of the contract. Employers will need to consider that some contracts may also specify a different number of days to reflect employees who are employed on a part-time basis.

In the event that businesses opt to remain open, employers will need to decide who can take the day off and will need to manage the competing demands of their employees. It is likely this process could be problematic given the short notice at which the bank holiday was announced.

Employers should be wary that if they do not act in accordance with an employee’s contractual terms in relation to time off and pay, this risks a breach of contract claim being pursued by the employee.

Advice

If you need assistance or advice on the contents of this article, please contact the Employment Team at Thackray Williams LLP 020 8290 0440.

Related Insights