There will be an additional Bank holiday on Tuesday 5 June 2012 to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. In addition, the spring bank holiday, which usually falls on the last Monday in May, will be put back to Monday 4th June creating a four day weekend during which there will be various celebrations to mark the Queen’s 60 years on the throne.
It goes without saying that many staff will just assume that they are entitled to the extra day off. However, are Employer’s obligated to provide time off on the 5th June 2012? Legally, employers do not automatically have to give staff another paid holiday, simply because there is another public holiday. Whether or not an employee will be entitled to take an additional paid holiday on this date will depend on the specific wording of their contract of employment in relation to public holidays.
The legal obligation on employers is to allow workers the minimum 28 days’ annual leave set out in the Working Time Regulations 1998 (pro rata for part-timers). What this means in terms of days off, and whether an employer is more generous than the law requires, is entirely a matter for the employment contract. For example, if the contract of employment states that an employee is entitled to a set number of holidays per year (as long as it is not below the statutory minimum), then employees working under the contract will not be entitled to an extra day on top of their stated contractual allowance and it will be a matter for the employers discretion whether they grant employees the day off for the Jubilee bank holiday in addition to their usual contractual entitlement.
This will also be the position where contracts of employment specify particular bank holiday dates. However, where a contract of employment states that the employee is entitled to all bank holidays, employers may be bound to grant the additional day.