DJM Solicitors

Can you make employees work on a bank holiday?

During a busy period, businesses can find themselves considering options that will mean employees working harder and longer than before to make up for the work, but can you make an employee work through a bank holiday?

The statutory minimum holiday entitlement is 5.6 weeks, equivalent to 28 days for anyone who works a five-day week. There is no general legal right to time off on bank holidays, though it is a common practice to give time off.

Many employees have the right to time off during bank holidays written into their contract with their employer, but employers can ask employees to work on public holidays.

Unless specifically set out in an employee’s contract of employment an employer does not have to pay extra for time off on bank holidays.
To avoid confusion and the potential for grievances, it is advisable to set out clearly:
• The employee’s right to time off on bank and public holidays.
• Whether that time off is paid.
• What you will pay if the employee works on a bank or public holiday.

If you do pay employees for holiday taken on a public or bank holiday you can count that towards their statutory minimum holiday entitlement.

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