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5 Things You Need to Know About UK Bank Holidays

With the Christmas bank holidays just around the corner, many are busy making plans with family and friends to celebrate the occasion. However, are you clear as to your rights regarding bank holidays? Does your employer have to give you Christmas off work? In this article we look at 5 things you should know about employment law and bank holidays.

1. What is your statutory right?

There is no statutory right for employees to take bank holidays off work. Your right to take bank holidays will entirely depend on your contract of employment.

2. Are you entitled to additional pay?

Where an employee must work on a bank holiday, there is no statutory provision to give them the right to extra pay. Again, the right to be paid extra for working bank holidays will stem from your contract of employment.

3. Is there any difference for part-time workers?

Part-time workers have the right not to be treated less favourably than comparable full-time workers. Many employers in order to ensure fairness, give part-time employees a pro-rated allowance of paid bank holidays, regardless of whether they normally work on the days on which bank holidays fall. Where you are treated less favourably in relation to bank holidays, you may be suffering discrimination.

4. Can you refuse to work bank holidays on religious grounds?

Where an employer refuses to grant Christian employees time off for any bank holidays that have religious significance, it may amount to indirect religious discrimination. The test is whether this places them at a disadvantage compared to employees of other faiths or compared to non-religious employees.

5. How much holiday are you entitled to?

Your holiday entitlement is normally set out in your contract of employment. There is a minimum right to paid holiday, but your employer may offer more than this. The main things you need to know about holiday rights are:

  • You are entitled to a minimum of 5.6 weeks paid annual leave (28 days for someone working five days a week).
  • Bank holidays can be included in your minimum entitlement.

It is crucial that you read and understand your entitlements outlined in your employment contract. If you feel any of these terms are unfair, you should first speak with your employer to make them aware of your concerns.

If you need help and advice regarding discrimination and/or your employment contract, please do not hesitate to contact me or the employment team on 0113 350 4030 or at hello@scesolicitors.co.uk.

If you would like to be kept up to date with employment law and dispute resolution updates, please subscribe to our monthly newsletter.

SCE Solicitors is a boutique employment law and dispute resolution practice based in Leeds which advises clients nationwide.  Please note that the information in this blog is to provide information of general interest in a summary manner and should not be construed as individual legal advice. Readers should consult with SCE Solicitors or other professional counsel before acting on the information contained here.

Emma Roberts
Latest posts by Emma Roberts (see all)
Emma Roberts

Emma is a trainee solicitor at SCE Solicitors. Emma commenced her training contract in September 2018 and is currently working in the employment law department assisting director Samira Cakali. Emma also assists in the running of the firm’s myHR service where she can support you in the day-to-day management of your staff.

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