Death of Queen Elizabeth II; a Queen’s funeral and affect on Holiday entitlement in England and Wales.
Last week saw the sad passing of Queen Elizabeth II, the longest (and arguably most successful) ruling Monarch in England’s history. She died aged 96.
As the UK enters a period of mourning, and prepares for her funeral there have been many questions asked as to what will happen on the day; there has been much speculation as to whether it will be a national holiday and what that will mean for UK Businesses.
Over the weekend it was announced that the funeral, which will take place on Monday 19 September 2022 will officially be declared a bank holiday, but there has been much discussion as to what that actually means.
The announcement of the Bank Holiday means that government linked workplaces, save for the emergency services, will be closed, as too will public functions such as schools. However, what about private businesses?
Below we address some of the key questions to try to assist businesses in negotiating a path through the present minefield.
Does the declaration of a Bank Holiday mean that we have to close?
The fact that a Bank holiday has been announced does not mean that every business in the UK has to close. Whilst many will likely decide to do so as a display of respect, it is ultimately entirely a decision for the business owners as to whether or not they wish to open on that day.
Of course when doing so they will have to consider the:
In the event that a business closes, do all staff get an extra days paid holiday?
Sadly the answer to this question is somewhat more difficult and there is not a definitive answer; that will only be answerable by reference to the contracts of employment. In short:
What about part time staff where a business closes?
For part time staff working who would normally work on a Monday the rules above will apply.
For those who would not normally work on a Monday then their hours of work are not affected, and so they will not need to use a days holiday, nor would they get given any additional time off or additional pay.
For those staff who are zero hour workers, then their normal working rules will apply; if they are not required then they need not attend work and they will only be paid for the hours they work, in the usual manner.
Do staff get paid extra if they are required to work on a Bank Holiday?
There is no legal requirement to pay an enhanced rate on a Bank Holiday for those staff required to work.
However, again this will fall down to the contractual position, and what has been negotiated with staff and or their representative bodies. If there is a contractual provision, workplace agreement or collective agreement then Employers will need to comply with the terms of that, failure to do so will amount to a breach of contract and may see grievance raised and ultimately see claims issued if employers depart from such terms.
There are of course practical points to consider when looking at such decisions, and employers will need to ensure that there is a fairness as to how the staff are treated across the board when any decisions are being made, and particularly where some staff may be required to attend work how those are chosen, failure to do so may give rise to further complaints and grievances, which will no doubt only serve to take up valuable management time in resolving.
If you need assistance with employment law please contact Jason Alcock, a Director in the Employment team here at Ansons Solicitors. You can reach him on 01543 267196 or by email at email@example.com
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