“How many bank holidays do I actually have to pay my staff for?”

We have another extra bank holiday this year for the coronation of King Charles.

(It’s Monday 8 May, if you didn’t know).

So I thought it would be a good time to brush up on what we do and don’t know about bank holidays.

“How many bank holidays do I actually have to pay my staff for?”

This depends on what bank holiday entitlement clause you have in your contract (if you don’t have a written contract of employment, get one NOW).

Most organisations have the clause in their contract, “You will be paid for eight bank holidays a year.” However, some are more generous and say, “You will be paid for all bank holidays in a year,” which will then cover any additional ones we get.

Part-time workers – with the above wording in the contract, they will have a pro-rata entitlement to be paid for the bank holidays if you are closed. For example, if they work 20 hours a week, they would be paid for 4 bank holidays a year, even if they did not fall on the normal days they work.

They may have time off for all 8 days, but they will only be paid for 4 days.

Holiday is paid time off.

The alternative

However, some employers have found it easier to give their staff, especially those open seven days a week, their holiday entitlement as just 28 days, with no automatic right to have bank holidays off. This is legally ok; as long as they have 28 paid days off per year, then that is fine. This formulation means that if they want to have a bank holiday off, they need to request a day off like any other holiday.

There is no legal right to

  • Have a bank holiday off
  • Be paid for a bank holiday

Any questions, please let me know!

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