April 10, 2023

Who is entitled to have this holiday.

King Charles III will be coronated on Saturday 6th May 2023, the government has confirmed there will be a bank holiday to mark the occasion. 

The extra bank holiday will fall on Monday 8th May, although the coronation will happen on Saturday 6th May 2023.  The day of the coronation Saturday 6th May is not a bank holiday. So, you have no obligation to let staff take the day off if they usually work on a Saturday, or if they’re rota’d in for work that day.  However, you might get a lot of requests from employees who want the day off as annual leave to celebrate the coronation.  Your options over how to deal with holiday requests are-

  • You may just decide to give all staff the day off out of goodwill.
  • You could give this as paid or unpaid leave.
  • If you give the day as unpaid leave, (your employees would need to agree to this).
  • You will need to follow your usual rules for accepting and rejecting holiday requests.
  • You could use a first come-first-serve process or another usual method for agreeing to leave requests.
  • You should have rules for approving leave in a holiday policy.
  • Keep track of who’s requested leave have you considered using HR software management tools.
  • This can be tricky, and you don’t want to accidentally end up short-staffed.

When can you refuse requests for leave on the day of the Coronation or around the bank holiday.

  • You may decide that you need all your staff in work during that period.
  • You are able to refuse annual leave at any point in the year if you need to.
  • Employees don’t have an automatic legal right to take time off for bank holidays.
  • All employees are entitled to a minimum of 5.6 weeks (28 days) of annual leave a year, and this can be pro-rata’d for part-time staff.
  • You can choose to include, not include, or add bank holidays to their entitlement.
  • It’s up to you to decide what your rules are when you set up your employment contracts.

To find out if your employee has a right to the extra day off, you’ll need to check the wording in their contract.  If your employee’s contract says they can take any or all bank holidays on top of their allowance, they have an automatic right to the extra day.  That’s because the contract doesn’t specify how many bank holidays they can take in a year. So, they have a right to take all of them, including any new ones that pop up.

Your employee’s contract might say that all bank holidays are included in their holiday entitlement. This means they will have a right to the extra day. However, this day will come out of their allotted 28 days of holiday, so it would mean they have fewer days of annual leave to choose from.

If your employee’s contract says they have a specific number of bank holidays they can take on top of their allowance, they don’t have a right to the extra day. That’s because they don’t have the flexibility to take any new bank holidays that you haven’t already set out in their contract. And taking the extra day would likely exceed their limit.  Your employee’s contract might even list the bank holidays they can have off. So, they wouldn’t have a right to a bank holiday that isn’t listed.

Can you ask them to come in to work?

It depends if your staff contracts entitle them to the extra day off. If your staff have a right to the extra day but you need them in work, you will need to change their employment contracts.  However, you would also need your employee’s consent to make the change and not giving staff a day off they were entitled to isn’t likely to go down well.

An alternative might be to consider giving your employees a day off in lieu or to look into changing your rota for that week. It might be that some employees don’t mind working, so they could potentially swap with anyone who wants the day off.  You could also consider paying overtime rates on that day to soften the blow and give employees an incentive to work.

If your staff are due to work but you want to close for the day, you could either:

  • Give them the extra paid holiday.
  • Ask them to take the day out of their annual leave.
  • Ask staff to take a day of leave, you must provide at least double the amount of notice for how many days you’re asking them to take. So, if you’re asking them to take one day, you must give them at least two days’ notice.  Enforcing leave may upset some employees. That’s why it’s good to include this in your policies, so your staff know to expect this during busy periods of the year.  You should tell your staff about your plans to enforce leave as far ahead of the day as possible.

Can you cancel annual leave that has been approved.

If you have to cancel pre-booked leave, you will need to give the same amount of notice as the length of holiday your employee has booked off.   If you are planning to cancel any pre-booked leave, talk it through with your employee first and see if there’s an alternative arrangement or compromise you can agree on.

If your employee’s contract doesn’t entitle them to the extra day off and you need them in work, they can only take the time off as holiday.  But if you can’t approve this holiday because of a valid business reason, like it would leave you short-staffed, they have to accept this. If they don’t and refuse to work, you can take disciplinary action.

Even if your contracts don’t say your employee has a right to the day off, you can choose to give it to them anyway. In fact, giving staff the day off as a gesture of goodwill is likely to go down well. It gives your employees the chance to observe the celebration in whatever way suits them.

If your staff have a contractual right to the extra bank holiday but you need them in work, you’ll need to update your employment contracts.  To update someone’s contract, you’ll need to confirm the change in writing either via letter or email. You’ll also need to get your employee’s consent to the change. If they don’t accept it, that’s when you may need to start a formal process.

To get help with amending a contract or ask any further questions, LBJ Consultants HR experts are here to advise.

Click here to book a free consultation today or call 07375 097443 to speak to us to make an appointment.

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