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BusinessAn extra bank holiday is confirmed for 2023. But who gets it...

An extra bank holiday is confirmed for 2023. But who gets it off work?

An extra bank holiday has been confirmed to mark the Coronation of King Charles III.

It will fall on Monday 8 May 2023, two days after the Coronation will take place and is in addition to the bank holidays already scheduled in May (Monday 1 May and Monday 29 May).

As 2022 has already seen two extra bank holidays added to the calendar, it’s likely employers will now be well versed in dealing with the HR repercussions.

But whilst many might be looking forward to an additional day off from work, this may not be the case for all workers.

Kate Palmer, HR Advice and Consultancy Director at Peninsula, looks at the considerations.

“Contrary to popular belief, a bank holiday doesn’t constitute a statutory right to a day off. Rather, it all comes down to what’s in the contract of employment.

“If a contract states that an employee has the right to X days’ annual leave plus a day off on 8 bank holidays and lists those bank holidays, there is no contractual right to time off for the Coronation as it will not be one of the days listed.

“However, it’s important to check for any flexibility built into the contract. If it states “8 public/bank holidays” but does not list them, or “8 public/bank holidays as listed, or other days as determined by us”, this may allow employers to give employees this extra day off but require them to work on another public/bank holiday.

“But even if a contract doesn’t include an automatic right to time off, employers can still allow a day of paid leave in addition to the contractual entitlement, or have people book it off out of their entitlement. It’s useful for an employer to look at how they have previously dealt with bank holidays to ensure a consistent and fair approach.

“It’s likely that London will be particularly busy during the Coronation, with extra demand on the hospitality sector, public transport, and emergency services.

“For these industries, employers may have to consider their staffing levels and if necessary, putting a temporary freeze on staff taking annual leave during this time. Though it is possible for employers to cancel pre-booked annual leave, providing they give the employee the same amount of notice as the duration of the leave, I would only recommend this as a very last resort so as to not negatively impact morale and motivation.

“To keep up with increased customer demand, employers may choose to offer enhanced overtime rates or incentives to work additional hours. However, it’s important to be mindful of the limits on maximum working hours and minimum rest breaks.

“Some sectors might need to consider bringing on new staff, in which case, the most effective approach to get employees in quickly could be utilising agency workers.

“Bear in mind also that there may be increased travel times and widespread delays and so employers should have a degree of leniency with employees who are running late during this period.

“In addition, employees may have genuine concerns about commuting across the capital during such a high-profile event. Employers should listen to these concerns and take them seriously, putting in adjustments where possible, like being flexible with start and finish times to avoid travelling during peak times.

“If your business will remain open on the day of the Coronation, there is no mandatory requirement to show the TV coverage in the workplace. However, employers should consider the historical importance of the event and be prepared for employees wanting to watch it.”

“Not all employees will be fans of the Royal Family and whilst everyone is entitled to their own opinion, it is worth remembering the acceptable standards of workplace behaviour. A culture of inclusion and diversity means employees accept and respect colleagues’ opinions.”

Sam Allcock
Sam Allcock
With over 20 years of experience in the field SEO and digital marketing, Sam Allcock is a highly regarded entrepreneur. He is based in Cheshire but has an interest in all things going on in the North West and enjoys contributing local news to the site.
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