Olivia Sinfield of Osborne Clarke’s employment law team talks us through current uncertainties as to whether the two day royal celebrations in June will all be treated as paid holiday.
Confusion reigns as to whether employees are eno whether employees are entitled to an extra day's paid leave for the Queen's Golden Jubilee. The next Bank Holiday is Monday 6th May 2002. Monday 3rd June then marks the Golden Jubilee Bank Holiday followed by the Spring Bank Holiday on Tuesday 4th June (this is the usual second May Bank holiday which has, this year, been moved forward from the usual date of 26/27th May).
To clear up the confusion, all employees are entitled to 4 weeks' paid annual leave. Employees do not, however, have a statutory right to take bank holidays off work, either normal or Jubilee. The answer is to be found in contracts of employment and there are four likely scenarios:-
Your contracts of employment state that employees get all bank holidays as paid leave in addition to holiday entitlement. In this scenario, employees will be entitled to 3 June as an extra paid day off.
Your contracts state that employees get eight bank holidays as paid leave in addition to normal entitlement. In this case, unlike all the other bank holidays during the year, 3 June will not count as an extra paid holiday.
Your contracts state that employees get a certain number of days holiday including bank holidays. Here, 3 June will not be an extra paid holiday.
Your contracts are silent as to the right to paid bank holidays. In this scenario, again, 3 June will not be an extra paid holiday.
Many employees may therefore be disappointed to learn that, contractually, they are not entitled to an extra days holiday on 3 June. However, they may take some consolation from the fact that the government are urging employers to give employees the day off (paid). They are also encouraging employers to clear up the confusion for employees as soon as possible and let them know whether they will have to work or will be free to attend their street party.
It is also worth bearing in mind that, if they choose to, pubs and clubs can open for an extra two hours from 11pm on 3 June to 1am on 4 June – two days when employees may not be their most productive!