The UK has begun a period of national mourning after the death of Queen Elizabeth II yesterday (8 September).
This will last until the funeral, which will be a day of national mourning. Although the date is yet to be confirmed, the ‘London Bridge’ protocol that is set in motion after her death dictates that her funeral takes place around 10 days later.
If the day of national mourning falls on a weekday, it is likely that a public holiday will be declared, although it may not be described as “bank holiday”. This could potentially be Monday 19 September, although some reports suggest that if the funeral takes place on a weekend, then no extra bank holiday will be granted.
The date of the funeral and any bank holiday is yet to be confirmed by Buckingham Palace and the government. It will be held at Westminster Abbey.
Where businesses remain open during the day of mourning, this would leave decisions up to employers whether to require employees to come into work.
The period of national mourning could impact on businesses and employers in other ways – a number of sporting and music fixtures including the Tour of Britain have been cancelled this weekend. Thousands of people are likely to make the journey to Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle to pay their respects, which could lead to some short-notice requests for time off.
A remembrance service will be held at St Paul’s Cathedral today (9 September). Because the Queen died at her home in Balmoral, Scotland, her coffin will lie in rest at St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh before being flown south to lie in state at Westminster Hall in London.
Parliament will also adjourn until after the state funeral, meaning new laws cannot be passed during that time.
The RMT, TSSA and Communication Workers Unions announced yesterday that planned strikes for the coming days would be cancelled as a mark of respect.
The CIPD published a statement yesterday. Chief executive Peter Cheese said: “We are deeply saddened by the passing of Her Majesty The Queen. We are thankful for Her Majesty’s service, and for granting our Royal Charter in 2000, which we hold in the deepest regard.
“On behalf of everyone at the CIPD, we send our sincere and heartfelt condolences to the Royal Family for their immeasurable loss.”
Queen Elizabeth’s heir, Charles, has acceded to the throne and will be known as King Charles III. An official proclamation of his accession will be made on Saturday (10 September) but his coronation – and any related public holidays – are not likely to happen until well into 2023.