Employees given coronation warning

Employees across the UK expecting an extra Bank Holiday off work to mark the coronation of King Charles III have been warned they may not be entitled to it by an employment specialist.

Jayne Holliday, Legal Director at award winning West Midlands law firm Higgs LLP, told workers they shouldn’t assume they automatically have the additional day off work.

Millions of Brits are looking forward to the additional public holiday on May 8 as part of the historic coronation celebration weekend.

But Jayne said: “There is no statutory right for people to have the day off. Ultimately, it is down to what is in an individual’s contract.

“Many contracts will entitle an employee to a certain number of days annual leave plus Bank Holidays. Clearly that covers May 8 and those employees can get the bunting out.

“However, other contracts will specify the number of days annual leave allowed plus the eight usual Bank Holidays.

“If a contract specifically says the usual Bank Holidays, then it will not automatically cover this additional Bank Holiday and a discussion will need to be held between employer and employee.”

Any worker who is not entitled to the day off but refuses to work could face disciplinary action.

Jayne said the situation could change if the business has opted to close for the day.

She added: “If the doors are closed and an employee can’t come in then businesses should give them the day off and pay them as the employee has fulfilled their contract in being ‘ready and able for work’.

“In this case, employers cannot force their workers to take a day out of their annual leave entitlement.

“If it’s possible to work from home then that could be a possibility, but that isn’t going to feasible for everyone. For example, many will face childcare issues if there are children at home who are usually at nursery or school.

“Employees are entitled to take Dependants’ Leave, which is unpaid leave for unexpected circumstances.”

Jayne will be discussing the employment laws around the coronation Bank Holiday, as well as delving into holiday entitlement and the calculation of holiday pay, at a webinar for employers on April 26, 9.30am to 10.15am. To sign up, visit https://www.higgsllp.co.uk/latest/2023/03/14/employment-webinar-holidays—untangling-the-tricky-issues/

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