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With the additional Royal Wedding Bank Holiday in April 2011 and the additional Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Bank Holiday in June 2012 things are bound to get complicated. Here’s what you need to know.
For more information on this subject, see our Working Time Directive Guide
The announcement of an extra bank holiday in 2011 and 2012 does not increase your entitlement from a minimum 28 days holiday entitlement (or 5.6 weeks) under the Working Time Directive Regulations, e.g. your entitlement is not increased to 29 days in these 2 years. So, whether you will get the additional bank holiday off will be entirely dependent on the wording of your employment contract. For example:
There could be issues:
If you are a part-time employee who has your holiday entitlement rounded up to allow for your pro-rata bank holiday entitlement. For example, a full-time employee working five days a week might get 20 days holiday plus eight bank holidays on top while an employee working part-time for, say, three days a week may get their pro-rata equivalent (which is 16.8 days) inclusive of their bank holiday entitlement. This is fairly usual and it means that when a bank holiday falls on a day when part-timers would normally be at work, they have to use some of their rounded-up entitlement to take the time off.
The problem in 2011 (and 2012) is there will be no extra statutory holiday entitlement on 29th April, whereas full-time staff are generally more likely to have an arrangement where bank holidays are given on top of their basic holiday entitlement. Part-time staff could complain that they are being treated less favourably, in which case their Employer will have to consider offering more leave in order to avoid receiving an Employment Tribunal ‘less favourable treatment’ claim.
If you are an agency worker or freelancer who has been told you will NOT be paid for this ‘extra’ bank holiday when people working at the same company who are ‘employees’ will. What can you do? Agency workers won’t have the right to ‘equal treatment’ in comparison to ‘employees’ until October 2011, so it is possible that agency workers will not be get paid for this bank holiday when ‘employees’ will. However, if your contract specifies 20 days holiday plus all bank/public holidays then they you could easily argue you are entitled to the additional bank holiday off. Alternatively, to be paid for this ‘additional’ bank holiday an agency worker may need to take a day off out of their normal 28 day holiday entitlement.
In terms of pay, as with any bank holiday, your right to pay for working on the additional bank holiday will depend on the wording of your contract, as there is no statutory right to additional pay or time off in lieu on a bank holiday. Many organisations do, however, have agreed rates for working on bank holidays, such as double time, or time off in lieu and these would be expected to be applied as normal on 29th April.
Workline is supported by Employment Lawyers Goodman Derrick LLP. Please note that the advice given on this website and by our Advisors is guidance only and cannot be taken as an authoritative interpretation of the law. It can also not be seen as specific advice for individual cases. Please also note that there are differences in legislation in Northern Ireland.
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