“It depends” is the short answer.
An employee’s statutory holiday entitlement in any year is 28 days. Those days can be any days in the calendar year.
However most employers have found it easier to give their employees their holiday entitlement by including the bank holidays in the 28 days holiday. This makes perfect business sense, as your staff are (usually) off work anyway, so why pay them to take more time off?
The normal bank holiday entitlement is 8 days a year. Unlike other European countries (e.g. Germany) we don’t have very many public holidays each year.
However in 2011 and 2012 there were extra bank holidays and the question was asked “How many bank holidays do I actually have to pay my staff for?”.
Most of our clients have the clause in their contract “You will be paid for 8 bank holidays a year.” However, you can be more generous and say “You will be paid for all bank holidays in a year” which will then cover any additional ones we get.