Royal Wedding - additional public holiday?
It was announced today that Prince Harry is engaged to be married to Meghan Markle, the American actress from the legal drama Suits. The wedding is set to take place in spring 2018.
Following the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton on 29 April 2011 when the public was granted an additional public holiday for the royal wedding, there is great anticipation as to whether the government will follow suit for the newly engaged couple next spring.
What does this mean for employees? The rights and entitlements of workers to bank holidays are confusing, particularly additional days which are not the norm. A special bank holiday can create potential issues regarding holiday entitlement as some employment contracts will permit leave on all bank holidays and others will be restricted to the normal public holidays only.
As a starting point, most workers have a right to a minimum of 5.6 weeks’ paid annual leave under the Working Time Regulations 1998. This amounts to 28 days for a full-time employee.
Ultimately your contract of employment will determine whether you are entitled as of right to leave on bank holidays and whether this is paid or not. There is still no statutory right to time off on any public holiday. Where employers allow or require workers to take leave on public holidays, this may count against statutory leave. In practice, many employers give paid holiday on the public holidays in addition to the minimum statutory leave entitlement.
Depending on the government’s decision to grant a special bank holiday for the upcoming royal wedding, it is encouraged that you check your employment contract for holiday entitlement on bank holidays before making plans for the celebratory day.