How To Manage Bank Holidays

Business 2nd May 2017

Everyone loves a bank holiday weekend.  Extra time with the family, an opportunity to relax, and weather permitting, maybe even a barbecue or two. As a business owner though, long weekends can present challenges. With four bank holidays appearing in the UK springtime calendar, it makes sense to be prepared, so you can prevent the common issues from knocking your business off track.

Here are a few things to consider.

Make sure you have a policy that’s clearly communicated to all staff 

Many problems can be avoided by simply making sure that staff know what’s expected from them.   If staff are expecting to be off on a bank holiday it will not help the relationship by expecting them to work at short notice.  Sometimes, depending on the nature of your business, it’s not possible to allow everyone to take the day off and it that’s the case, make your stance clear in advance, and ensure that everyone knows what’s expected of them.

Dealing with part-time workers

Many employers get confused when working out bank holiday entitlement for part-time workers.  This causes most confusion where the employee is not contracted to work on a Monday or Friday.  Some think that if someone isn’t contracted to work on the day a bank holiday falls then they won’t have an entitlement to time off as they were off anyway.  We come across this widely-held belief often and it is incorrect. Part-time staff should be treated no less favourably than their full-time colleagues when it comes to benefits, and all holidays (including bank holidays) should be pro-rated accordingly.

Know the relevant legislation 

Your employees don’t have a legal right to receive extra pay for working bank holidays, unless this is something that is detailed in the contract of employment – or if it is implied because of historical practices within your business (known as custom and practice).

Remember that your staff should receive a written statement within 2 months of starting their employment that covers their entitlement to holiday, including provisions for public holidays, and pay. 

If you would like some help managing bank holidays, please get in touch by completing the Contact Form or calling us on 01604 763494 to arrange your no-obligation discussion.

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