Businesses must plan for the Platinum Jubilee bank holiday

People across the land are buying paper plates and bunting ahead of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee bank holiday, but is your business prepared?

The four-day weekend in June is promising to be a glorious celebration of our monarch and her 70 years on the throne. However, while we may be enjoying street parties in the sun, the celebration poses a number of questions for employers around holiday entitlement and pay.

In this blog, we will be taking the cling film off the bank holiday details…

When is the Platinum Jubilee bank holiday?

We’ll start with the obvious: there will be an extra bank holiday on Friday 3 June 2022. The late May bank holiday has also moved from Monday 30 May to Thursday 2 June, thus creating a four-day weekend.

Do I legally have to give my employees the day off?

This might sound like a bad case of the Ebenezer’s, but employees do not have an automatic right to time off (paid or otherwise) on bank holidays.

A company’s legal position will depend on the wording of the contracts of employment. Some contracts state that staff can take all bank holidays as paid leave, while others set a limit of up to eight days (the normal number of bank holidays each year). Depending how often you update your contracts of employment, members of your team might be on different terms.

To avoid any confusion and breaches of contract, you might want to consider granting the extra day as paid holiday for everyone. This will be an extra day on top of their annual holiday quota, so will have financial implications for the business.

What happens if I need staff to work?

Not every business will have the luxury of being able to close for the entire bank holiday. The weekend could be one of the busiest and most lucrative for restaurants, bars and leisure venues.

If you want some people to work, you will need to negotiate with your employees. Usually, the simplest way to handle this is to offer staff a day off in lieu at a later date. This will have a small financial impact, but should not hurt operations as staff will take their extra day on different dates.

What if my employees are not entitled to an extra bank holiday?

There are several options available, the first being that you could remain open on the extra bank holiday and require staff to work as normal. Some may book the day off as holiday, but you do not have to grant that request. This is when it pays to plan in advance, so staff know where they stand.

The second option is to require staff to take the extra bank holiday as holiday leave. To do this, you will need to give your employees at least two days’ notice, unless their contracts of employment state a shorter notice period.

Thirdly, you can close on the bank holiday and give your staff an extra day’s paid leave. This is obviously the most generous option and you need to be clear that it has been done due to the special circumstances.

In conclusion, employers have a decision to make on how to handle the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee bank holiday. Whatever route you choose, you need to consider the financial implications to your business and then communicate to staff as early and as clearly as possible.

Do you need help?

If you have any queries regarding how the bank holiday could affect your business, you can contact our friendly financial experts on 0845 606 9632 or email team@thesmartaccountants.co.uk.

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