The UK is the home of the bank holiday; we currently have 8 permanent bank holidays a year, none of which normally require a deckchair or sun umbrella!
As an employer you need to know the facts about bank holidays and your employees’ entitlement (or lack of!):
Employees do not have a statutory right to the holiday. This is dependent on their contract; there is no automatic right.
Similarly, you do not have to pay your employees’ extra for working a bank holiday. The extra payment depends on the terms and conditions in their employment contract.
Part time workers have the same rights to bank holidays as full time workers. Therefore if full-time staff are given the bank holiday then part-time employees should also receive the holiday on a pro-rata basis.
If the terms of the employment contract state that an employee must work a bank holiday then the employee cannot refuse to work. However, be wary of religious holidays; if an employer refuses an employee’s request for a religious holiday it could be seen as indirect religious discrimination if it places them at a disadvantage to employees with a different faith.
The same rules apply for additional bank holiday; Employees are not automatically entitled to the extra day, check their contract!
If you have any queries about holiday entitlements or any other element of employment contracts why not give us a call today? We will be happy to help you and advise you on staff handbooks and any other pertinent information.