Bank holidays in 2023: four things you need to know
This year, there are some additional complications to bank holidays including dates reverting back after changing last year and an additional day. So, here are four important things you need to know about bank holidays for 2023.
Most of the UK has eight permanent bank holidays each year: New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, May Day, Spring Bank Holiday, Summer Bank Holiday, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Traditionally, except for the festive bank holidays, these take place on a Monday.
However, in 2023 there’s an extra bank holiday on Monday 8 May for the coronation of King Charles III.
Here’s what you need to know in advance of these changes.
1. There is no statutory right for employees to have bank holidays off work
Bank holidays are counted, in employment law terms, as a normal day’s holiday and so are part of an employee’s annual leave entitlement. Any right to time off depends on the terms of your employee contracts, and is not a statutory right for employees.
Employers can choose to express annual leave in their handbooks either as a total amount that includes bank holidays (so for a five-day a week worker on statutory minimum holidays, you would write it as 28 days), or you can express it as x days plus bank holidays.
You’d tend to use the ‘total amount’ method if you have a 365 operation like a retail or care setting and aren’t closed on bank holidays. In this case, workers need to request the bank holidays off specially, and may not get it, but as you identify they have the time accounted for in their annual leave allowance.
If you use the ‘x days plus bank holidays’ method, usually the business will be closed on bank holidays. If you’ve written in your employee contract ‘x days plus bank holidays’, and not specified the number of bank holiday days that this is in their entitlement, you will have to give it as an extra day’s leave this year.
2. There is no statutory right to extra pay when working on a bank holiday
If you require an employee to work on a bank holiday there is no legal requirement to enhance pay. It will depend on what is written in their contracts of employment.
3. How to handle an additional bank holiday in May 2023
The coronation of King Charles III means that there will now be three dates across May that are bank holidays. Many people (including your employees) will be looking forward to this additional holiday. But it’s important to remember that there are now 3 short weeks within May. This needs to be accounted for and planning should take place in order not to miss deadlines. It’s also important to remember that many external services will be unavailable these dates too. May bank holidays are 1 May, 8 May and 29 May.
These long weekends have the potential to cause disruption to many businesses across the country.
It’s important to let your employees know what your company are planning to do for this coronation bank holiday well in advance. Will employees be working as usual, are required to take it out of their annual leave entitlement, or are you going to give them it as an extra day off this year? The important thing is to review your employee contracts and communicate clearly with your employees what the plan is.
This may be a good time to add some wording on your company’s position should the government introduce additional bank holidays in the future too.
4. Treat part-time workers the same as full-time workers
A part-time worker has the right not to be treated less favourably than a comparable full-time worker. The best practice is to pro-rata bank holiday allowances, irrespective of whether an employee normally works on the day a bank holiday falls.
Bank Holidays for 2023
- 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: Christmas Day
- Tuesday 26 December: Boxing Day
For support with reviewing your contract of employment, why not consider our HR & Employment Law Services? Our experts are available 24/7/365.