1. Can you make workers work on bank holidays?
Yes. There is no statutory right for workers to take bank holidays as annual leave. However, it needs to be stipulated in their contract/statement of particulars and the equivalent time off given in lieu if bank holidays aren’t provided as part of their annual leave entitlement as a whole.
It is stipulated in s.1 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 that employers must give new employees a written statement of terms and conditions of employment, included in which should be terms relating to annual leave entitlement, bank holidays and the rate of pay for annual leave.
In the absence of a written statement (which we would not recommend), employees rights relating to bank holidays will come down to what is established custom and practice or a verbal agreement. For example, if previously employees have always been given time off for a bank holiday, you cannot change this without their consent through consultation.
2. Are workers entitled to extra pay for working on a bank holiday?
There is no statutory right to extra pay, for example ‘time and a half’, when a worker works on a bank holiday. Any right to extra pay depends on the terms of the workers contract, or custom and practice or a verbal agreement.
3. Can bank holidays be included in a workers statutory leave entitlement?
The minimum statutory paid annual leave entitlement is 5.6 weeks, which can include bank holidays and there is no right for any of the 5.6 weeks’ leave to be actually taken on bank holiday days.
4. Are part-time workers entitled to bank holidays?
Yes. Under the Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000, a part-time worker has the right not to be treated less favourably than a comparable full-time worker on the grounds that they are a part-timer. To not allow part-time workers entitlement to bank holidays would be less favourable treatment.
5. How do you calculate pro rata bank holiday entitlement?
There are a few options when it comes to calculating how to provide part-time workers with their bank holiday entitlement however from experience, we have discovered that the easiest way is to give part-time workers pro rata entitlement to bank holidays according to the number of hours they work each week and to include this entitlement with their overall annual leave entitlement.
This method ensures that workers won’t be disadvantaged if they work fixed days per week, as most bank holidays fall on a Monday or Friday. You can also do the same for full-time workers if necessary. It also means that you can break the holiday down into hours or days depending on what is easier.
Often clients ask us if they can just allow a part-time worker to take a bank holiday where their day of work or shift coincides with a bank holiday, but this would only really be fair if the shift system meant that both full-timers and part-timers are equally likely to be rostered to work on a bank holiday, i.e. where there is no fixed pattern for staff such as in hospitality.
For zero hours workers, the 12.07 ‘rule’ encompasses a pro rata entitlement to bank holidays however employers need to carefully consider whether or not workers are receiving sufficient pay for their holiday entitlement under the Working Time Regulations. Variable hours workers have the right to the pro rata equivalent of 5.6 weeks’ leave per year, with the right to be paid a week’s pay for a week’s leave. This can be calculated using a 12 week reference period of weeks worked.
Bhayani HR & Employment Law is a specialist employment law firm based in the centre of Sheffield. We advise both employers and employees on a wide range of employment issues. We can be contacted on 0114 303 2300 or [email protected]