On Tuesday 5 June there is an extra bank holiday to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the spring bank holiday has been moved to Monday 4 June to accompany it.
This may raise a number of issues for employers, from whether or not employees have to be given the day off, to how to deal with workers who call in sick on the day.
While most employers will already have policies in place for the Diamond Jubilee, they should check they know the answers to these four questions surrounding the additional bank holiday:
1. Do I have to give employees the day off for the Diamond Jubilee?
Employees do not have the automatic right to a day off on the additional bank holiday and their entitlement will depend on the wording of their contract. Find out if your employment contracts entitle your staff to the additional day’s leave.
However, whether or not you can legally make staff work the extra bank holiday is not the only issue you should consider. The TUC has warned that employers who do not allow their workforce to have the day off could face “needless ill-will” from staff.
Former TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “The annoyance and ill-will that will be caused by forcing staff to work while everyone else is out having a nice time will far outweigh any benefits from one extra day in the office.”
2. Are employees who work on the additional bank holiday entitled to extra pay?
There is no statutory right to extra pay for working during the Diamond Jubilee. However, employees may be entitled to extra pay, such as half or double time, if it states so in their employment contracts.
3. Does the additional bank holiday affect the leave of part-time workers not scheduled to work on that day?
If employers decide to give their workforce the day off on the Diamond Jubilee bank holiday, they may be wondering whether or not part-time staff who are not scheduled to work on 5 June are entitled to additional leave.
The key here is that part-time workers should receive equal treatment to full-time staff, so you need to make sure they end up with the same amount of leave, including bank holidays, as comparable full-time workers, on a pro-rata basis.
4. What do I do if I suspect someone has called in sick when they are well, just to get the day off?
If employers decide not to grant staff the day off during the Diamond Jubilee bank holiday they may face a number of unauthorised absences from people on the day.
In order to deter employees from doing this, it is best to make clear to staff beforehand how absenteeism will be dealt with over the period.