The Government has announced an extra bank holiday on Friday 3rd June in celebration of the Platinum Jubilee. In addition, the traditional late May bank holiday is being moved to Thursday 2nd June, providing for a four-day holiday weekend. What do businesses need to know about worker and employee entitlement to time off for this extra holiday.
Workers have a statutory entitlement to holiday in accordance with the provisions of the Working Time Regulations (WTR). This provides all workers with a right to 5.6 weeks annual paid leave, however there is no statutory right to any particular day off, including bank holidays. There has been no increase in entitlement under the WTR to take into account the additional day. Therefore, whether workers are entitled to the additional holiday will be down to the contractual arrangements in place.
Whether there is a contractual right to the additional day will depend on how entitlement is expressed or what has happened in practice if the contract is silent in this regard. The position will differ depending upon whether holiday entitlement is inclusive of, or in addition to bank holidays, and if the number of applicable bank holidays is stated. Of course, employers are free to provide workers with the additional day off irrespective of the actual contractual entitlement.
Whatever the contractual position, many workers may have an expectation that they will be granted the day as additional holiday. This therefore opens up the potential for dispute or misunderstandings, which may need careful handling and advice.
If an additional days leave is given, businesses need to take care to ensure that decisions do not give rise to discrimination issues, For example, part time workers whose working arrangements mean that they do not normally work on Fridays may need equivalent entitlement.
Recruitment businesses also need to consider how this additional leave is treated in respect of any PAYE temps and umbrella workers. Many temps will have a basic entitlement to statutory leave inclusive of bank holidays, in which case they will have no entitlement to additional holiday. However, recruitment businesses need to be aware of potential rights under the Agency Workers Regulations (AWR). Where the AWR may apply, agencies should clarify with hirers the position regarding any additional leave entitlement and may also need to notify umbrella providers of the position. Whether agencies can increase their charges to hirers to take account of this will depend on the contractual arrangements in place.
For assistance with holiday pay, AWR or other entitlements call Lawspeed on 01273 236 236
Peter Lappin is Senior Legal Consultant at the recruitment and employment law specialists Lawspeed.
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