Her Majesty The Queen will be celebrating her Platinum Jubilee this year. It is the first year a British monarch has reached the historic milestone.
As such, the May Bank Holiday Weekend will be moved to Thursday 2 June and an additional Bank Holiday will be celebrated on Friday 3 June.
The standard Bank Holidays are: New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Early May Bank Holiday, Spring Bank Holiday, Summer Bank Holiday, Christmas Day and Boxing Day (in England and Wales).
In Northern Ireland, there are 10 Bank Holidays, with the addition of St. Patrick’s Day and Anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne.
In Scotland, there are 9 Bank Holidays, with an additional day for St Andrew’s Day and a Bank Holiday on the 2nd January substituted for New Year’s Day.
An employee’s entitlement to the additional Bank Holiday off work depends on the wording of their contract.
If the contract specifies an entitlement to Bank Holidays and then lists the standard Bank Holidays that are recognised as part of the holiday entitlement, or mentions ‘usual or standard Bank Holidays’, there would be no need to give the employee the extra Bank Holiday off.
If the contract includes Bank Holidays, without listing Bank Holidays or referencing the usual or standard Bank Holidays, then the employee would be entitled to the extra Bank Holiday off.
Some contracts do not recognise Bank Holidays as part of an employee’s holiday entitlement. In this case, there would be no obligation to give employees an extra day off for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Even if not mentioned within an employee’s contract, an employer can still decide to give the additional Bank Holiday off as a gesture of goodwill. It is important to consider whether employees may assume that they will get the additional Bank Holiday off, and whether giving employees the day off may enhance relationships.
It may be considered best practice to plan and communicate in advance if employees will be receiving the extra Bank Holiday off or not to manage employee expectations.