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Bank holiday for the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II

Peach Law Limited will be closed on Monday 19 September 2022, to allow our staff to pay their respects to Her Majesty and commemorate her reign.

We have prepared a Q&A below, to assist Employers should they require help and/or advice:

When is the bank holiday?

Monday 19 September 2022.

The bank holiday will allow individuals, businesses and other organisations to pay their respects to Her Majesty and commemorate Her reign, while marking the final day of the period of national mourning.

Whatever decision is made in respect of the bank holiday it is important that it is clearly communicated to all workers, and should not breach any contracts of employment.

The bank holiday will take place across the United Kingdom.

Are Workers entitled to the day off?

There is no statutory entitlement to time off; this depends on what is in the contract of employment.

If the contract either states the specific bank holidays, or a number of bank holidays i.e. 8 days or a list of the 8 usual bank holidays, then that is the worker’s allocation for the year and there is no entitlement for an additional day (although Employers may choose to give the additional day if they wish to).

However, on the contrary, if the wording in the contract is broad and states that a worker is entitled to bank holidays, then they are entitled to take the bank holiday, as usual.

Can Employers ask people to work?

If the contract of employment means that workers do not have an automatic right to additional bank holidays, then Employers can require them to work, as normal.

If the contract wording is wider, then Employers can ask workers to work, but cannot require them to work. Employers may choose to be more flexible on the day, by adapting working hours or allowing people to work from home if they can.

Employers should also note that some workers may need time off if they are implicated by dependants who are off on the day, and so need to be at home, for example if they have children, as schools will be closed, or if they care for someone, and they do have a statutory right to unpaid time off for dependents.

Do I have to pay my staff?

Generally, there is no obligation for additional pay, but this will depend upon what the contract of employment states.

If the contracts state that this is a normal working day and workers do not have any entitlement to an additional bank holiday, you could ask people to take the day as a holiday or a day’s unpaid leave if they do not wish to work.

What should we do?

This will depend on the contractual position, the needs of the business and what you, as an Employer, usually do with regards to bank holidays.

The government expects Employers to respond sensitively to requests from workers who wish to take the day of the funeral off work, but cannot interfere in existing contractual arrangements between Employers and workers.

If a business requires people to work, due to demand, it should look at perhaps allowing flexibility of hours across the week, explain what the challenges are and give workers the freedom of choice, if possible.

Will there be another Bank Holiday for the Coronation?

No decision has been made yet; a decision will be made nearer the time.

Will the bank holiday to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral be an annual holiday?

There are currently no plans for an annual holiday.

Will schools be closed on the day of the bank holiday?

Yes, schools will be closed, the government are not asking them to remain open on the day of the bank holiday.

This blog does not constitute legal advice. Should you have any specific questions, please seek separate, independent legal advice.

Please get in touch if you would like specific help and adivce.

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Bank holiday for the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II

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