September 14, 2022

New bank holiday on 19 September 2022 – what are your obligations?

19th September - Bank Holiday

Following the death of HM Queen Elizabeth II, a state funeral will take place at 11am on Monday 19 September 2022.

The Government has announced that Monday 19 September 2022 will be an extra bank holiday. This additional bank holiday comes on top of the additional bank holiday we had for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in June 2022. This means there will be 10 bank holidays in 2022, rather than the usual eight.

The Government has encouraged employers to respond sensitively to requests from staff who wish to take time off work. Many organisations have announced that they will be closing on the day of the funeral. However, for many care providers, that’s not possible.

Are staff entitled to the day off?

There is no statutory entitlement to have bank holidays off work; it is a matter for the employment contract. You should therefore check your contracts as soon as possible.

Most care staff contracts include a requirement to work on any day of the week, including bank holidays. If yours do, care staff would not be entitled to time off.  However, other staff, such as those in administrative or office-based roles may be entitled to bank holidays off work, but whether or not they are entitled to the extra bank holiday off (rather than just the usual 8 bank holidays) work will depend on the precise wording of the contract.

Where there is no contractual right to time off, you can of course offer staff the day off as a gesture of goodwill or offer it (or part of the day) to those who want to pay their respects to the Queen. However, this may not be feasible if staffing levels are already tight.

The Government has announced that schools will be closed on the bank holiday which could cause working parents a headache. It is likely that you will receive requests for dependant’s leave from employees who are unable to find last minute childcare. It is worth discussing this with staff now so that you know as soon as possible who won’t be able to make it in so that you can make arrangements for cover.

What is their entitlement to pay for the bank holiday?

If staff are required to work on the additional bank holiday, they should be paid the rate specified in their employment contract for bank holidays. If you offer enhanced rates for bank holidays check whether your contract limits this to the usual 8 bank holidays (in which case you could choose to pay normal pay for this additional bank holiday) or whether it covers any bank holiday (in which case you will need to pay the enhancement).

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Contact us today for advice

If you need any advice or a review of your employment contact wording please get in touch with Chris Amys on 01225 730100 or at [email protected].

Our Social Care team

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