The announcement that there is a bank holiday on Monday 19 September 2022, in the United Kingdom to mark the State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II will have an effect on many workers.
My diary has been re-arranged, as I am sure others have had to do too. I am pleased that it is a bank holiday as I know that many people, not only in the UK but in other countries, will want to watch or take part in one way or another.
I have had messages expressing sympathy for the late Queen’s passing from my family and friends across the globe – from Africa, Brazil, Australia and the United States. It is an historical occasion – the State Funeral of a respected, dignified woman of integrity. It is fitting that the day is marked by a bank holiday.
What is the effect on employees in your organisation?
The Government is encouraging employers to give workers paid time off where possible and practical.
Many organisations require people to work over public holidays if they are essential services. One cannot simply decide that because of a bank holiday, the role in some of these services stops.
Holiday entitlement is dependent on what is set out in a contract of employment or agreement.
Is the holiday entitlement in the contract stated as 20 days plus public and bank holidays or 28 days including public and bank holidays? If it is 20 days plus public and bank holidays, workers are entitled to an extra day off, although if the normal 8 bank holidays are listed, this is not the case. If holiday is stated as 28 days including public and bank holidays, then there is no automatic entitlement to the extra day.
It is important that employers check contracts and advise their employees of the rules governing the bank holiday.
If it is not practical to provide paid time off, an employer may consider allowing workers to watch the funeral at work or provide time off in lieu if staff are required to work that day.
Where a worker’s shift is already set for Monday 19, there is an expectation that they will continue as normal. However, there may be reasons that they cannot work that day.
For instance, they may have childcare responsibilities as children will be off school. If so, then it is important that employers listen to the reasons, and where possible make alternative suitable arrangements.
Parents may apply for dependent leave, which is normally unpaid, for an emergency. We have had just over a week’s notice so this may not be applicable. Some people may want to request annual holiday if they still have some entitlement.
This is time for all employers to be sensitive and to ensure open communication with their employees.
If you would like to discuss this subject further, please contact Cecily Lalloo at Embrace HR Limited.
Based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, Embrace HR Limited provide a specialised HR service to the care sector, and small businesses, from recruitment through to exit.