Bank Holiday Entitlement For Full-Time And Part-Time Employees

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Bank holiday entitlement has been a hot topic of discussion between employees and employers for many years. In the UK, in 2022, employers saw nine public holidays. There are usually eight, but 2022 was the year of the Queens Platinum jubilee. With this number of bank holidays in the UK, businesses with full, and part-time employees need to know where they stand legally and what their staff are entitled to take as time off.

The Office for National Statistics shows that 3.3% of the nation’s workforce was on duty on Christmas Day of 2014. That works out to 1.04 million people and includes 97,000 nurses, 26% of midwives, 18% of the police service, 22,000 members of the clergy, plus cleaners, taxi drivers, hotel and service staff, and even journalists.

Guidance and Holiday Entitlement for Employees

Working on the bank and public holidays has become increasingly more common in the UK over the years in many sectors. Employers should make themselves fully aware of the law surrounding holiday entitlement for employees and their responsibilities. The UK has eight permanent bank holidays per year, including New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, May Day, Spring Bank Holiday, Late Summer, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.  It is essential employers have sufficient knowledge about employment law covering bank holidays. Almost, but not all workers are entitled to 5.6 weeks of paid holiday every year. It also gets referred to as statutory annual leave entitlement.

Bank Holidays For Part-Time Workers

The allowance for bank holidays for part-time workers is the same as those contracted to work full-time. Full-time employees are legally entitled to 28 days of statutory leave per year. Part-time employees that are working fewer hours are still entitled to the 5.6 weeks of paid leave, but it is worked out on a pro-rata basis and needs to be calculated differently due to them working fewer hours.

Below is an example of how to calculate holiday entitlement for part-time workers and bank holidays:

Full-time holiday entitlement for employees-8 bank holidays days per year x 8 hours per day = 64 working hours

If you have a member of your staff that works part-time and works 20 hours per week, calculating their leave would be as follows:

20 ( contracted hours per week) ÷ 40 (equivalent full-time hours) x 64 (equivalent full-time bank holiday entitlement) = 32 hours of leave and bank holiday pay entitlement per year.

Imagine, if you will, having two employees working 20 per week. Employee No1 works Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; employee No2 works Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Employee No1 would always benefit from having a bank holiday Monday, and employee No2 would not. Part-time bank holiday entitlement is the same for all employees, whether they work on public holidays or not.

As the employer, you can have bank holidays included in annual leave as there is no statutory requirement to pay or offer leave for bank holidays at the time of writing.

Employees Bank Holiday Entitlement Dependent Upon Contractual Obligations

Employment law on bank holidays currently states that employees have no statutory right not to work on bank holidays. An employee can’t refuse to work on a bank holiday if it gets written into their contract, not even on religious grounds. Employers should also be aware that not allowing some flexibility with bank holiday entitlement for a religious-orientated staff member during periods, such as bank holidays with religious significance, could get viewed as discriminatory if non-religious employees are given time off.

Bank Holiday Policy And No Statutory Right To Bank Holiday Entitlement

The bank holiday policy companies offer may vary according to size and available resources. Some employers give holiday entitlement, including bank holidays; others may provide 28 days of annual leave, plus 8 public holidays as extra days. There is no statutory right to any extra bank holiday entitlement pay either. Again, some companies pay time and a half, or double time, but there is nothing in the bank holiday working law that states you have to do this. As the employer, if you wish to pay your staff members more for working on public holidays, you can set this out in their employment contract.

Public Holiday Pay For Casual Employees

With over 5 million casual workers in the United Kingdom, employers and HR professionals must understand the differences between part-time and casual workers.

Casual workers are on what has been commonly known as a ‘zero-hour contract’, meaning they could work ten hours one week, none the following week, and then forty the week after that. However, their working hours can be highly flexible. With the employer not having to offer any work if none is available and the employee not having to accept any work when offered, casual workers still have employment rights. Public holiday pay for casual workers would be the same as their regular pay rate unless the employee and employer had a different arrangement. Employment law regarding holidays for casual workers is calculated differently from part-time workers. However, they are entitled to 5.6 weeks of paid annual leave (calculated differently due to the hours worked), legal minimum wage, and protection from whistleblowing.

Bank Holiday Entitlement FAQs

As an employer with a small business, does the bank holiday working law mean I must pay my employees overtime rates?

Employment law for bank holidays does not include any rule stating that an employer is under any obligation to pay higher than pay rates than contractually obliged. Bank holiday working law allows for you to pay regular rates unless it is written into employees’ contracts that they will receive overtime pay.

Is giving full-time employees a contract with 28 days of annual holiday entitlement, including bank holidays, ok?

Employment law regarding holidays allows employers to offer employees the minimum 28-day holiday entitlement, including bank holidays. There are eight public holidays in the United Kingdom, and if you want to close your business during those days and give employees bank holiday entitlement as a part of the contract of employment, and annual leave a year, then you may do so.

What is the full-time holiday entitlement in the UK?

Full-time holiday entitlement in the United Kingdom is 5.6 weeks paid vacation. It works out to 28 days of paid annual leave, but an employer can include bank and public holidays as a part of the annual leave entitlement if it is written into the contracts of full-time staff.