United Kingdom: Bank Holiday Declared for King Charles’s Coronation
Following the King’s coronation on May 6, 2023, the UK government has announced that Monday, May 8, 2023, will be an official extra bank holiday. This shall not be a recurring holiday and will only be celebrated this year.
The clauses on the employment contract between the employer and employee shall define whether an employee is legally entitled to this extra bank holiday or not. There is no statutory requirement to give employees this bank holiday.
- If an employee’s contract states that the employee is entitled to a certain number of annual leave days plus bank holidays, such employees will be entitled to this extra bank holiday.
- If an employee’s contract states that the employee is entitled to a certain number of annual leave days which shall be inclusive of bank holidays in England, Wales & Northern Ireland, it depends on the employer, whether to allow the extra bank holiday as is not explicitly included under the contract.
- If the employment contract states that the employees are entitled to a certain number of annual leave days plus the “usual” bank holidays, given this isn’t a “usual” bank holiday, the employees would not be entitled to the holiday automatically, but the employer may decide to give it as an additional benefit.
Employees who are normally required to work on a bank holiday should not expect the day off. If the employee usually receives a premium for working on a bank holiday, they may expect a higher rate of pay.
Part-time Employees – For part-time employees, the position shall be the same. The bank holiday entitlement depends on the wording of their contract. If a part-time employee is entitled to the additional bank holiday under their contract, but this is not their normal working day, the holiday entitlement should be adjusted on a pro-rata basis.
Several British-occupied territories (islands) like the Isle of Man, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Gibraltar, Saint Helena, Solomon Islands, Turks, and Caicos, etc., have also declared a one-time public holiday on May 8, 2023.
If employees are contractually entitled to the coronation bank holiday but business requirements do not allow for this (for example, if employees work in the emergency services), employers could instead seek to agree with employees that they take a day’s leave on an alternative date.
Employers will need to look carefully at the wording of the employment contract to see what the employees’ contractual legal entitlements are and decide how to proceed.