King’s Coronation Bank Holiday (8 May 2023): Right to Time Off

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King’s Coronation Bank Holiday (8 May 2023): Right to Time Off

Key Contact: Claire Knowles

Author: Swyn Llyr

The Government has announced an additional bank holiday on Monday 8 May 2023 to mark the coronation of King Charles III.  This will result in 9 bank holidays in 2023 and employers will need to consider whether their staff would be entitled to this additional day and how to deal with requests.

Are your employees entitled to time off on 8 May 2023?

Whilst extra bank holidays are always well received by employees, there is no legal automatic entitlement for an employee to take leave on 8 May 2023 due to it being declared a bank holiday. As an employer, you can choose to include bank holidays as part of an employee’s statutory annual leave.

What should you do?

The first step is to consider how you will approach the additional bank holiday and take into consideration your employees’ employment contracts and any applicable policies. Employees’ entitlements is determined to some extent by this documentation. For example:

  • These may simply state that employees are entitled to statutory holiday which is already inclusive of public holidays (i.e. 5.6 weeks inclusive of public holidays). In this case, you can require employees to work on 8 May 2023 in the usual way.
  • Alternatively, your contract or policies may state that the employee is entitled to 5.6 weeks holiday plus the usual 8 public holidays which are recognised in England and Wales. In this case, you can adopt the position that the 8 May 2023 holiday is not one of the 8 standard public holidays, in which case the employee can be required to work.
  • However, if the contract states that the employee is entitled to all public holidays or does not limit this to the ‘usual’ bank holidays, in addition to 5.6 weeks’ leave, the employee could claim 8 May 2023 as an additional holiday.

Nonetheless, you may choose to grant the extra day as leave as a gesture of goodwill to your employees, even if you are not contractually obliged to do so or allow them to use their normal annual leave allowance. If you decide to grant the additional day off at your discretion, we recommend that you emphasise to your employees that it is a one-off benefit and not an entitlement.

If you would like assistance with reviewing employment contracts and policies, please contact the Acuity Employment team.

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