On 6th November 2022, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced that there will be an additional bank holiday on Monday 8th May 2023 to mark the coronation of King Charles III. Events across the country to celebrate and pay tribute to King Charles over the coronation bank holiday weekend will be arranged, but what does this mean for employers?

The King’s Coronation Ceremony

The Coronation of King Charles will take place at Westminster Abbey, London, and will be conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury. During the Ceremony, the Queen Consort will also be crowned. During a day of celebration, it is intended that the Coronation will reflect the monarch’s role today and look towards the future, while being rooted in long-standing traditions and pageantry.

Since the coronation will take place on Saturday 6th May 2023, the extra bank holiday will fall on Monday 8th May 2023, enabling local and National events to be scheduled to celebrate and pay tribute to the King.

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Was there a Bank Holiday for Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation?

The announcement from Rishi Sunak in relation to King Charles’ coronation bank holiday is in line with an announcement from Winston Churchill in October 1952 which recommended that Her Majesty’s Coronation Day, Tuesday 2nd June 1953, should be proclaimed a Bank Holiday and a public holiday throughout the United Kingdom.

Employers’ Advice for the King’s Coronation Bank Holiday

Having been granted time off for Her Majesty’s funeral, employees will be keen to know if they get a day off for a coronation. As an employer, you may in turn be wondering whether this bank holiday will apply to your employees, and the answer is that it will depend on what your contract of employment bank holiday terms are.

If your contract refers to a specific number of bank holidays, or you may have a clause which requires bank holidays to be taken at different times of the year, then you are not contractually obliged to let your team have the King’s Coronation bank holiday off work. However, you may need to add the additional day to their annual leave entitlement, depending on their terms, for them to take at another time.

If your contract terms state that your employees are entitled to take all UK bank holidays off, then your employees will be entitled to take the day of the King’s Coronation as a paid bank holiday.

If you have part-time employees and this bank holiday falls on one of their non-working days, again, depending on your terms, you may be required to allocate them another day which they can take in lieu.

We recommend that you communicate your decision to your staff as soon as possible regarding whether you will be closing your business on the King’s Coronation bank holiday to avoid assumptions being made and to avoid any disappointment as much as possible.

If you decide to grant this day off as a goodwill gesture, but you didn’t give the bank holidays for the Jubilee or Queen’s funeral as days off for your employees, it’s important to be clear that the decision has been made as a one-off and on an entirely discretionary basis.