The Government announced some time ago that it was granting an additional bank holiday in 2022, which will take place on Friday 3rd June to celebrate the Queen’s platinum jubilee. In addition, the customary late May bank holiday has been moved to Thursday 2nd June.

This means that employers will need to plan for the rather unique situation of having two back-to-back bank holidays days in June 2022.

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Employers should begin to think about how they will approach the additional bank holiday with their staff. The first step is to consider the wording in employees’ contracts of employment. For example, where the contract entitles employees to a number of days holiday per year including “all bank and public holidays”, the employer will be required to grant the extra day as leave.

Employees do not have an automatic right to paid time off on a bank holiday, so the wording in the contract is important.

If the contract specifies a total number of days’ holiday and then goes on to list the dates or occasions of the bank holidays that are included in that calculation, for example – 20 days holiday plus the 8 bank holiday days (8 in England and Wales, 9 in Scotland and 10 in Northern Ireland), the employer is not contractually obliged to grant any additional bank holiday over and above that amount. Employers may however choose to offer the additional day as a goodwill gesture.

Employers should plan well in advance for this additional day and consider any potential staffing issues that may occur as a result. There may be a need for extra staff if the business anticipates being particularly busy, and there may also be an increase in holiday requests around this time as well.

Employers could offer a day off in lieu if they are required to work.

After a very challenging time due to the Coronavirus pandemic, there could be a significant backlash if this extra day is not discussed with employees and a decision is communicated well in advance.

Many employers are already using the extra day to show their appreciation to employees where they do not have a contractual entitlement to paid time off for the additional bank holiday. As the extra day will follow on from the late spring bank holiday the day before, it will provide for a four-day long weekend.

UPDATE – An additional bank holiday has been announced for the day of the Queen’s Funeral, find out what your obligations are as an employer for this bank holiday and how you can support your team.

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