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Two Easter Bank Holidays in One Leave Year

Employees are entitled to a minimum of 5.6 weeks’ annual leave under the Working Time Regulations (WTR). For those working a 5 day week they will be entitled 28 days’ leave per year, which can include bank holidays, of which there are usually eight per year.

If employers have worded contracts entitling employees to “20 days’ holiday plus bank holidays”, this could lead to one of two problems, where the holiday year runs from 1 April until 31 March. Either employees receive more bank holidays than their contractual entitlement or less than the statutory minimum.

To illustrate this point, this year the Easter Bank Holidays are on 25 and 28 March and last year it was on the 3 and 6 April, meaning that within one holiday year there are two Easter breaks. This could mean that employees are potentially gaining two additional bank holidays (on top of the usual eight) for the leave year.

While in 2016/17 Easter will fall later, with Good Friday falling on 14 April and Easter Monday on 17 April 2017, which means employees would appear to lose out on leave in 2016/17.

Employers who fail to honour a contractual entitlements will be in breach of contract and could lead to complaints of constructive unfair dismissal.


With regards to the additional bank holiday in this leave year, as an employer, you can either (a) bear the cost or (b) commence negotiations to vary the terms of employment, to define bank holidays as eight days. You should ensure you do not unilaterally impose changes in contracts or allow additional bank holiday one leave year compensate for a shortfall the following year.

For further information on annual leave entitlement or drafting clauses please do not hesitate to contact me for a free consultation at samira.cakali@scesolicitors.co.uk or on 01133 50 40 30.

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.

Samira Cakali

Samira Cakali is a pragmatic and approachable solicitor advocate with extensive contentious and non-contentious experience in the fields of employment law as well as civil litigation, within a range of commercial businesses from SME’s to multinationals as well as senior executives.

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