Question: Christmas is coming – Are Employees Who Work on Bank Holidays Entitled To Pay in Lieu or Additional Holidays?

Answer: This depends on the overall holiday entitlement and the terms of the employment contract. If the entitlement is the statutory minimum (which is 28 days including Bank Holidays) and an employee works on a Bank Holiday, they must have a day off in lieu so that the total paid leave stays at 28 days per year. This is for employees who work five days per week.

What about pay? If an employee is entitled to the day off on a Bank Holiday, then they will be entitled to their normal rate of pay for this, in the same way as they would for any other holiday. Contrary to popular belief, for those working on a Bank Holiday, there is no entitlement to extra pay, unless the terms of the person?s contract state otherwise. However, if employees are normally paid extra for working a Bank Holiday that should apply when additional public holiday days are announced too.

How about part-time employees?

Your obligation to part-time workers is governed by the Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favorable Treatment) Regulations 2000. This means that part-time workers are entitled to the same holidays as comparable full-time workers, but on a pro rata basis.

You must make sure that a part-time employee receives his or her pro rated entitlement if bank holidays are included in the employee’s statutory minimum holiday entitlement, or if you grant holiday that exceeds the statutory minimum to your full-time workers.

Because most bank holidays fall on a Monday or Friday, part-time employees who do not work on these days could be entitled to proportionately fewer days off compared with full-time employees.

To avoid a complaint of less favorable many employers provide part-time employees with a pro rated bank holiday entitlement. Te best option is to calculate pro rated bank holiday entitlement according to the number of hours that the part-time employee works, irrespective of whether or not he or she works on the days on which bank holidays fall.

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