To mark 70 years of The Queen’s reign, the Platinum Jubilee will take place, this week, on Thursday 2nd June and Friday 3rd June 2022.

To mark the celebrations, the late May bank holiday has been moved to Thursday 2nd June and an additional Jubilee bank holiday will take place on Friday 3rd June.

Although this is gladly received by the majority of employees, recent polls and our client feedback have suggested that some employers are unhappy about the additional bank holiday.   In particular, sectors such as hospitality and leisure, care, retail, manufacturing and transport are among those where issues are arising and, if they are not resolved, could trigger discontent if employers act unfairly and unlawfully.

The announcement has evidently caused confusion for both employers and employees as to their rights and obligations regarding the additional day’s Bank Holiday and our employment law team have received numerous requests for advice. As such, please find below answers to two of the most pertinent questions on the topic.

Are employers obligated to provide time off on Friday 3rd June?

English law allows the dates of Bank Holidays to be changed by the Government or for other holidays to be declared, for example to celebrate special occasions.

When it comes to employers’ obligations regarding time off on bank holidays, it depends what exactly is stated within an employee’s contract of employment.

Given the majority of employees are entitled to 28 days holiday (the current legal requirement under the Working Time Regulations 1998), the additional holiday for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee should not affect this legal minimum entitlement for most employers.

If it is stated in an employee’s contract of employment that they are entitled to time off on Bank Holidays, then they shall be entitled to the extra day off for the Jubilee celebrations.

In the event an employer had genuine business reasons to require employees to work on that day, employers would need to have clear express contractual provisions to this effect. In the event that this is not the case, employers will need to seek an employee’s written consent to get them to work the additional Bank Holiday.

Do employers have to pay employees on Friday 3rd June?

Although it would appear many employers are likely to pay employees on this particular day, it is not a legal obligation to do so.

Employers are therefore, subject to their contracts of employment, free to choose whether any payments will be made to employees for this day’s holiday.

If you require advice in relation to any aspect of employment law, including advice on contracts of employment and employee holidays, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Call 0845 287 0939, get in touch by email, or chat to us through the online chat below.