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Document updated/added on 11.10.2019

Topic: Contractual clauses

extra bank holidays clause
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Extra bank holidays clause

Extra bank holidays clause

If the government announces an extra bank holiday, whether employees are then entitled to an additional day's holiday will depend on the wording of their employment contracts.  

Extra bank and public holidays

Occasionally, the government grants special or extra bank or public holidays on a one-off basis to celebrate a particular key occasion, such as a royal wedding or jubilee. If an extra bank or public holiday is announced, whether employees are then entitled to an additional day's paid holiday will depend on the precise wording of their employment contracts; they don’t have an automatic right to paid time off on a bank holiday.

Legal position

If the employee’s employment contract states that their annual holiday entitlement is a certain number of days “plus bank and public holidays”, they will be entitled to the additional day off. However, if their contract states that the entitlement is to a certain number of days, and is either silent on the issue of bank and public holidays or says that bank and public holidays are included within that number of days’ entitlement, the employee will not be entitled to an additional day's holiday. Neither will the employee be entitled to an extra day’s holiday if their entitlement is expressed as a certain number of days "plus eight bank and public holidays", or their contract specifies exactly which bank and public holidays are included. Our Written Statement of Employment Particulars is drafted on the basis that you will specify a precise number of bank and public holidays, e.g. eight.

Clause wording

Where there’s no automatic contractual entitlement to an additional day’s paid holiday on an extra bank or public holiday but you want to have the discretion to grant this time off to your staff as a gesture of goodwill, or perhaps because your business intends to close down for the day, use our Extra Bank Holidays Clause. It states that, in your absolute discretion, you may temporarily increase the employee’s total holiday entitlement for that particular holiday year to take account of the extra day, and you’ll confirm to them whether or not they’ve been granted the extra day. For part timers, we’ve provided for any increase to be pro rata. Make sure you then exercise your discretion fairly and in a non-discriminatory, non-perverse manner; you shouldn’t be picking and choosing who should get the extra day off. Finally, if you do decide to increase staff holiday entitlement in this way on one occasion, we’ve stated that this doesn’t mean you’re then obliged to do the same in subsequent years where the government may announce a further extra bank or public holiday, i.e. exercising your discretion on one occasion doesn’t set a precedent for future occasions.

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