Additional Bank Holiday

The extra bank holiday next is raising a few questions, so I thought I would email you to clarify the situation.

Sometimes additional public holidays are granted by Royal Proclamation. There is an additional bank holiday on 19 September 2022 for Queen Elizabeth II‘s funeral. There was also another in June 2022 for the Queen’s platinum jubilee.

Employers need to decide how they will approach these upcoming additional days off. This will be determined to some extent by the wording in the contract. Where the contract entitles employees to take as paid leave “all bank and public holidays”, the employer will have no choice but to grant the extra day in the usual way or negotiate otherwise.

Where the contract requires workers to work on “all bank holidays”, the employer can require them to work on an additional day. If they are paid a higher rate for working on a bank holiday and the contract does not limit the number of bank holidays to which the higher rate applies, the employer must pay that rate for the additional day.

However, where the contract limits entitlement to a day off work (or to a higher rate of pay where bank holidays are worked) to the “usual eight” bank holidays,  or your contract may state the employee is entitled to 28 days of holiday and this is inclusive of bank holidays, the employer will need to decide its policy in relation to the additional day.

Giving Employees the Day Off

If the employer chooses to give its workers the day off as an extra day’s paid holiday (or pay them a higher rate if they work on that day), it should express this as being a non-contractual discretionary measure that applies only during the year in question. Otherwise, workers may, in the future, have grounds to argue that time off (or the higher rate of pay) on additional bank holidays is a contractual right, implied by custom and practice.

If workers will be required to take the additional day off out of their existing holiday entitlement, the employer will need to plan ahead to ensure that it gives them the requisite notice.

If some or all workers will be required to work on the additional public holiday, the employer may wish to consider a one-off discretionary day off in lieu, as a gesture of goodwill. Where workers will be treated differently, for example, one receptionist out of three is required to work but the other two can take the extra holiday days as leave, the employer should have objective criteria for this requirement and the choice of who will work, to minimise the risks of a discrimination claim (for example because of sex or race). In this scenario, the receptionist who works on the bank holiday must be compensated either by being paid or being granted a day off in lieu.

Keeping staff happy with your bank holiday policy

Employees would have heard that there is an extra bank holiday and may assume they are entitled to a paid day off. An alternative would be to ask staff to come in and perhaps allow those that are interested an extended lunch break to watch the proceeding on a screen.

Expert HR advice for small businesses

We hope that you found this blog informative. And remember, if you require expert HR advice for small businesses, or larger concerns, our experienced and professional HR team are always on hand to help. We offer both ad hoc HR and retained HR packages to suit any HR requirements. Contact our friendly team to learn more.

Gold breatheHR Partner

We are really pleased to have been promoted to Gold breatheHR partner status.

breatheHR is a great software tool. It’s great to see so many of our clients using it to manage all the day to day admin that comes with managing employees.

Due to social distancing rules in place, we celebrated via a zoom call with Bethan from breatheHR headquarters. Bethan had the balloons and Melanie had the party poppers!

This month we are offering a special deal for anyone new to breatheHR. 20% discount for three months following your free trial during August.

I recommend any business with employees to sign up to breatheHR, it will save you so much time and paper and the price is a no-brainer 😁

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Get in touch for more info

Employee Holiday Allowance

“Staff are wanting more holiday!”

“A member of staff is asking for an increased holiday allowance.  How much holiday are other firms offering?  If I give them extra holiday it’s not fair on the other employees, how should we manage this?”

Employee holiday allowance is a hot topic! Staff wanting additional holiday is a reoccurring concern for business owners – staff are wanting more than the standard 20 days plus bank holidays.

It also seems to be a common occurrence that people are requesting additional holiday at the job offer stage too.  With the high employment rates currently in the UK, good candidates can be short supply and in some instances making demands on their new would-be employers.

Employee holiday allowance is a hot topic.

With large corporate companies generally providing their employees with holiday allowances higher than the statutory 5.6 weeks per year.  This is leaving smaller businesses and start-ups trying to keep up to ensure they retain their staff and recruit good people.

Paid holiday has always been an emotive subject, and woe betide the HR manager who makes a wrong calculation of a part timers holiday allowance!

So, on the whole, workers are striving for a better work-life balance and more annual leave can help with this. 

Families often have both parents at work, they often need extra time off to cover children illnesses, appointments and school holidays.

Unfortunately, employees generally don’t appreciate the cost involved in giving their staff all extra holiday allowance. It can be a big cost consideration for businesses.

What are the options?

Every situation is different, and it will depend on the business.  As mentioned above, there can be significant costs involved.  Having staff out of the business for an extra two days per year means less output at work and more days with absent staff, with work needing to be covered.

Managing the staff holiday calendar can be problematic.

Sometimes, there are people in the workplace who don’t actually want extra holiday and find it hard to use the holiday allowance they already have.

Rewarding Long service

The first option is to consider rewarding long service with additional holiday allowance. For example, some schemes offer an extra day per year after every 5 years of service.

Unpaid leave

It may be an option that staff can request unpaid leave, allowing staff to book unpaid leave to top up their holiday allowance.  This can be manageable for some businesses. Best practise, would be asking staff to request in advance and not just be absent because it’s a sunny day.

Parental Leave

Parental leave is available for eligible employees

Remember that, eligible parents of children under 18 are legally entitled to eighteen weeks of parental leave.  Usually a maximum of four weeks in any one year, the employer can agree to more, depending on their policies.  This is unpaid leave and both parents can take parental leave during each child’s childhood, for more information go to

Holiday exchange scheme

How about considering a scheme where employees can purchase additional holiday or sell unwanted holiday.  Usually a maximum of one week.  How much does a holiday day cost? The cost of a holiday day is their calculated day rate and this is taken out of their salary over the year. For example: if they are paid £120 per day – £10 will be deducted from their salary each month of the year.  This can be beneficial in helping with an employee’s finances. Effectively, spreading the cost over the year, instead of deducting one day’s pay, as would be the case for unpaid leave.

A good work-life balance is important to your employee’s wellbeing. So it’s really important they take their holidays. However, if you have employees who find they always have days left at the end of the holiday year it allows them to convert unused holiday to cash.

Statutory requirements

Statutory holiday entitlement in the UK is 5.6 weeks per year. This includes 8 bank holidays. Of course, you are within your rights to stick the legal minimum and not allow unpaid leave unless employees have a statutory entitlement.

How will increasing holiday benefit my business?

Are you are under pressure to increase your employees holiday allowance? There are some possible benefits:

  • Reduces unauthorised absenteeism
  • Employees who choose to take additional holiday may be more productive as they are less tired
  • Encourages employees to plan in advance which in turn can make it easier for your business to manage resources/cover

Managing holiday

If you need support managing holiday allowances for your team or you have any other HR query, please get in touch.

Does the word ‘Holiday’ give you a headache?

[vc_row type=”in_container” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Do you have employees?

If yes, you will know the thing they are most precious about is their holiday, and rightly so. We all look forward to our days off, whether we are wanting to laze in the sun, take part in some kind of adventure, take time for hobbies or just sort the garden out. Spending time with our friends and loved ones, or even time away from people altogether is our reward for having to get up and go to work every day.

People have to meticulously plan their allocated 20-something days – juggling school holidays and saving time for poorly children, school sports days or possible household emergencies, family dramas, that Wednesday wedding, taking the pet to the vet etc…

You also have the ‘dedicated to the desk’ types, who get to the end of the year and have not used their compulsory 20 days, they are really needed for the next month, but you need them to take time off to comply with the Working Time Directive.

Registering annual leave requests, logging time taken, ensuring the whole team is not all out at once, requests for changes to already booked holidays, as well as the last minute requests, can be frustrating for managers and employers. That’s not including the dreaded holiday calculation for part-timers, all of this can be an administrative headache.

By offering expert HR advice for small businesses, Blue Tree HR Solutions can offer you a really easy answer to these and other Employee Admin problems. We provide companies with a cloud-based, online system, suitable for companies with 2-200 employees.

Staff can make holiday requests online to be authorised by their line manager. A team calendar shows who has already booked any holiday, employees and employers can easily keep track of holidays used and available. The system does all the calculations for you, as well as exporting to Excel and your Outlook Calendar.

This low-cost HR software system is vital for small businesses to be able to reduce the time spent on all HR admin and gives you time to focus on achieving your business goals. Leaving you enough time to perhaps take a holiday yourself?

We’re an accredited Partner of breatheHR and are able to provide a full range of services to support your implementation. Don’t worry though, it’s quick to set up, simple to use and loved by MDs, HR Managers and employees alike! For more information and a demonstration of how breatheHR will help you, contact our team.

Alternatively, for expert HR advice for small businesses, including ad hoc HR support and retained HR support, you can contact us here and one of our Blue Tree freelance HR consultants will be happy to help.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]