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November 26, 2010

Will you be legally obliged to pay your staff to take the day off for the Royal Wedding?

You can’t have failed to have heard about the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton on 29th April 2011, at Westminster Abbey. Therefore it’s a good time to clarify your position on bank holidays and communicate it to your workforce.

Under the Working Time Regulations, all employees are entitled to 28 days’ holiday (pro rata’d for part-time employees).

The additional bank holiday for the Royal wedding in 2011 is discretionary, and so does not affect this legal position. Your obligation to provide this bank holiday is dependent on the contractual clause regarding holidays:

  • If your employees’ contracts state they are entitled to 20 days plus bank holidays, then as the Royal wedding is an additional bank holiday, there would potentially be a breach of contract if they are not allowed this holiday.
  • If, however, your employees’ contracts state they are entitled to 28 days, or 20 days plus eight bank holidays, then there would be no contractual obligation for you to allow for the additional bank holiday.
  • If your employees don’t have a contract, best practice would be to allocate them an additional day’s holiday to their 2011 entitlement.

Regardless of your contractual position, you may consider letting your employees have the extra day off and your employees could feel rested and refreshed after a four day weekend! However you should also consider what your business requirements are and weigh this up against the benefits of allowing your workforce to have this day off.

Whatever your employment contracts state, start planning now for the big day and communicate it to your staff.

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