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Extra Bank Holiday on Monday 8 May 2023

Extra Bank Holiday in 2023

This year, the Government has announced an extra bank holiday, on Monday 8 May 2023, following the coronation of King Charles III on Saturday 6 May 2023. Whilst this sounds like good news for employees, the question of how to treat the extra bank holiday may be problematic for employers.

Most employees will assume that they will be given the bank holiday automatically but, depending on the wording of the employee contract, that is not necessarily the case. 

2023 bank holidays

In a normal year, there are eight bank holidays a year in England and Wales (nine in Scotland). In 2023, however, there are nine bank holidays in England and Wales, falling on the following days:

Monday 2 January (substitute Bank Holiday: 1 January is a Sunday);

Friday 7 April (Good Friday);

Monday 10 April (Easter Monday);

Monday 1 May (Early May Bank Holiday);

Monday 8 May (Bank Holiday for the Coronation of King Charles III);

Monday 29 May (Spring Bank Holiday);

Monday 28 August (Summer Bank Holiday);

Monday 25 December; and

Tuesday 26 December.

Are employers required to give their employees the extra bank holiday?

As stated above, this will depend largely on what the employment contract says and employees do not have an automatic right to paid time off on a bank holiday.

Broadly speaking, if the employment contract states that the employee has an entitlement to a certain number of days’ annual holiday plus bank holidays, then it follows that the employee is automatically entitled to the extra bank holiday.

If the employee is entitled to, say, 5.6 weeks of annual leave inclusive of bank holidays, the employee is entitled to the extra bank holiday but this has to come out of the consolidated holiday entitlement.

If, however, the employee’s employment contract states that the employee is entitled to a specified number of days’ holiday plus eight bank holidays, then they are not automatically entitled to the additional bank holiday.

Even if an employer is not contractually obliged to grant the extra day as leave, they may choose to do so as a goodwill gesture to employees. It is also worth bearing in mind how employers have treated extra bank holidays in the past. After all, there were two extra bank holidays in 2022 and it is likely to cause a negative reaction if employees were previously offered paid time off or time off in lieu to mark an additional bank holiday and a different approach is taken this time.

Do employees have a statutory right to extra pay for working on bank holidays?

There is no statutory right to extra pay, such as time and a half or double time, when an employee works on a bank holiday. Any right to extra pay depends on the wording of the employment contract. Employees are not entitled to be paid a higher rate than normal for working on a bank holiday, unless this is provided for in the contract.

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