Queen Elizabeth IIWhat employers need to know

This weekend the Government announced the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II will be held on Monday 19th September 2022. That day will now be a bank holiday.

A ‘bank holiday’ does not meant everyone automatically gets a day off work, unless the employment contract allows for it.

Check your employment contracts – it really depends on what this says. If it says your employees are entitled to all bank holidays in addition to their usual holiday, then by definition, they are entitled to the day off.

The clause will usually be worded in one of three ways:

  1. Overall entitlement includes bank holidays –any bank holiday taken off will be deducted from the overall holiday allowed. Please note: this must be a minimum of 28 days. This does not stop employers allowing the extra day (paid or not).
  2. Annual leave entitlement plus bank holidays e.g. 20 days annual leave plus bank holidays – this means your employees are entitled to take the Monday off.
  3. Annual leave 20 days plus 8 bank holidays i.e. the number of bank holidays allowed are stipulated in the contract and are limited to the number of bank holidays in that holiday year. Sometimes the contract lists these out too e.g. New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday etc. Therefore, it’s up to you, as the employer as to whether you allow this additional day, or not.


Considerations

Make a decision now on what your plans are – will your organisation close on 19th September or remain open for business.

24-hour operating

If you’re an organisation with no option but to remain open, you might be providing a 24/7 service for example, can you run with a reduced workforce? If so, consider asking for volunteers to work on the day, and allow others to have the day off, if possible.

You might even consider remaining open and showing the coverage on a screen so employees can take a break and still be involved (please note: you may need an entertainment licence and TV licence).

Consider allowing employees time to pay their respects privately – speak to them to agree how you might manage this.

Part time workers

Do remember part time workers – they must not be treated less favourably or be at a disadvantage. If someone does not usually work Mondays, and you’re allowing full time employees an additional day, then the part time employee should be offered the same, albeit on a pro rata basis.

Childcare

Schools will be closed on this day and working parents are likely to need to be around to look after their children if there is no alternative childcare in place.

Communicate with employees – let them know as soon as possible whether you’re closing the business on that day. Even if the contract of employment is clear, some clarification is important.

Mental health

Do remember some individuals may well be affected by the news, whether that’s because they feel a strong allegiance to the Queen, or because it triggers other painful memories. Be mindful of this and offer support, where you can. This can be as simple as including signposting to support services in your communications.

Here to help

If you have any questions or need help in calculating holiday, please drop us a line at [email protected] call us on 01449 708999 or call/text 07789 038409.

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