For employers planning ahead for their workforce arrangements, next year brings a complicating factor due to the extra bank holiday in 2022.
The following guide for employers looks at the bank holidays 2022 schedule, including what the extra bank holiday means for your workforce’s entitlement to time off work.
What is the bank holidays 2022 schedule?
In England and Wales, there are typically 8 bank holidays each year, these being New Year’s day; Good Friday and Easter Monday; the Early May, Spring and Summer bank holidays; plus Christmas day and Boxing day. In Northern Ireland, there are a total of 10 bank holidays, including the same holidays as in England and Wales, but with the addition of St. Patrick’s day and the anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne. In Scotland, there are 9 bank holidays, with an additional holiday on 2nd January and for St. Andrew’s day, but none on Easter Monday.
However, every so often, the entire nation is treated to an extra bank holiday to commemorate a historic royal occasion, for example, back in 2011, a bank holiday was granted to help celebrate the marriage of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate.
In 2022, Queen Elizabeth II will be the first British monarch to celebrate seventy years on the throne. There will therefore be an additional public holiday to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. However, the special occasion will also see a change to the usual Spring bank holiday, where this will be moved to Thursday 2nd June and the additional bank holiday inserted on Friday 3rd June, creating a 4-day weekend to coincide with a series of nationwide events.
Employers should therefore be aware that on top of the ‘extra bank holiday 2022’, there’s also a re-shuffle of when the Spring bank holiday, usually at the end of May, is to take place.
The bank holidays 2022 schedule includes:
|Saturday 1 January 2022||New Year’s day (nationwide)|
|Sunday 2 January 2022||Last day of Hogmanay (Scotland only)|
|Monday 3 January 2022||Substitute day for New Year’s day (nationwide)|
|Tuesday 4 January 2022||Substitute day for 2 January (Scotland only)|
|Thursday 17 March 2022||St Patrick’s day (Northern Ireland only)|
|Friday 15 April 2022||Good Friday (nationwide)|
|Monday 18 April 2022||Easter Monday (England, Wales & Northern Ireland)|
|Monday 2 May 2022||Early May bank holiday/May Day (nationwide)|
|Thursday 2 June 2022||Spring bank holiday (nationwide)|
|Friday 3 June 2022||Platinum Jubilee bank holiday (nationwide)|
|Tuesday 12 July 2022||Battle of the Boyne (Northern Ireland only)|
|Monday 1 August 2022||Summer bank holiday (Scotland only)|
|Monday 29 August 2022||Summer bank holiday (England, Wales & Northern Ireland)|
|Wednesday 30 November 2022||St. Andrew’s day (Scotland only)|
|Sunday 25 December 2022||Christmas day (nationwide)|
|Monday 26 December 2022||Boxing day (nationwide)|
|Tuesday 27 December 2022||Substitute day for Christmas day (nationwide)|
If a bank holiday falls on a weekend, as in both New Year’s and Christmas Day during 2022, a substitute weekday will then become a bank holiday, normally the following Monday or on the next available weekday, for example, the substitute Christmas Day bank holiday on Tuesday 27 December 2002 follows a regular week-day Boxing day bank holiday. It’s also worth noting that in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the summer bank holiday is on the last Monday of August, whilst in Scotland it falls on the first Monday of that month.
Employee entitlement to bank holidays
Employees are entitled to a set number of days off work each year by way of paid leave. The minimum statutory annual leave entitlement is 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday per year, although employee’s may have enhanced rights under the terms and conditions of their employment contract. This is because employers can choose to offer more leave than the legal minimum.
However, by law, bank or public holidays do not have to be given as additional paid leave, where an employer can choose to include bank holidays as part of an individual’s statutory annual leave entitlement. This essentially means that if your place of work is closed on bank holidays, you can make employees take these days as part of their paid holidays. Equally, you may choose to pay your staff for bank holidays on top of their normal leave entitlement, or allow employees to take bank holidays as extra holiday days but without pay.
In the context of any business that remains open on a bank holiday, it’s again up to you, as the employer, to decide whether or not an employee has to work those days. Essentially, the rules relating to an employee’s entitlement to not work bank holidays, where applicable, and whether or not any bank holidays are included in their overall paid annual leave entitlement, are a matter of contract. This, in short, will come down to the wording of the employee’s contract of employment, and whether bank and public holidays are in addition to or inclusive of the employee’s statutory or contractual annual leave entitlement.
If, for example, your business is closed bank holidays, and the contract makes provision for 28 days ‘in addition to bank holidays’, then the employee will be entitled to take these days as additional paid leave. In England and Wales, where there are 8 bank holidays in a standard year, this would mean the employee would be entitled to a total of 36 days. If, however, the contract makes provision for 28 days ‘inclusive of bank holidays’, this is the overall total that the employee will be entitled to take. In England and Wales, in a standard year, this would leave the employee with 20 days paid leave to take at a time of their own choosing.
If the employee’s contract is silent on the issue of holidays and/or bank holidays, the employee will still be entitled to the statutory minimum amount of paid annual leave, but bank holidays will usually be deducted from that yearly entitlement.
Are employee’s entitled to the extra bank holiday 2022?
Where an additional bank holiday is granted in any given year, this doesn’t necessarily mean an employee will have a right to take that day off work, or to be paid for that day. As with any entitlement to take bank holidays in addition to or inclusive of an individual’s annual leave entitlement, this will depend on what contractual provision has been made in this context.
For example, if the employment contract states that the employee will be given paid bank holidays in addition to their normal annual leave entitlement, they will be entitled to take off the 3rd June and be paid for this. If, on the other hand, the contract provides for an employee’s leave to include bank holidays, then this additional day will need to be deducted from their annual allowance. In the first scenario, for the full-time employee, they will have a total of 37 days paid leave for 2022. Conversely, for the employee whose paid leave includes bank holidays, this will leave them with just 19 days leave to take at a time of their own choosing.
However, it’s worth noting that for employment contracts that provide for specified bank holidays in addition to an employee’s normal leave entitlement, for example, ‘plus Christmas Day, New Years Day, Easter Monday etc.’ or ‘plus 8 bank holidays’, these employee’s may not necessarily be entitled to an additional paid day’s leave for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. It will all come down to the specific wording and construction of the contract in question.
How should requests for time off work be handled?
Even though employees have a right to a minimum number of paid days holiday each year, employees are not normally entitled to pick and choose when they take this time off. This is because employers need to manage staff rotas to ensure that they have the necessary available cover at all times to ensure continuity of service or production.
However, to maintain positive working relationships, it’s important for employers to handle any requests for time off fairly and consistently. As an employer, you should also be prepared for an influx of annual leave requests covering Monday 30 May to Wednesday 1 June 2022. If your workplace closes on weekends and bank holidays, the extra bank holiday will undoubtedly mean that many of your employees will want to benefit from 9 consecutive days off work: from Saturday 28 May to Sunday 5 June 2022. It’s therefore highly unlikely that you’ll be able to accommodate every request, so a strategy will need to be considered in advance.
By applying the following practical tips for managing requests for time off, this can help to minimise any disputes about the extra bank holiday 2022 and any other holiday requests:
Communicate your time off work policy clearly from the outset
As soon as you recruit a new employee, ensure that they’re aware of their annual leave and bank holiday entitlement, and how to request time off so that there’s no confusion at a later date;
Ensure your time off work policy is easily accessible
You should put all your workplace policies in an employee handbook and/or download these onto the staff intranet, so that employees can remind themselves of your rules and procedures as and when needed;
Set a start date and deadline for time off work requests
Different sectors have different high-intensity seasons in which too much time off can negatively impact a business. Retail, for example, needs a high level of staff cover around Christmas, so it’s not only important to ask staff to make their requests by a certain date, but also to prevent staff from putting in advance requests for the following year to create a level playing field for new hires;
Decide on a fair approach
Requests for time off are often dealt with on a first-come-first-served basis or levels of seniority. However, regardless of how you decide to handle annual leave requests, you should avoid an arbitrary approach based purely on managerial discretion, as this can be easily misconstrued as favouritism. The fairest approach may be to create a rotating schedule so that newer or junior employees don’t feel unfairly treated;
Incorporate an element of flexibility into your time off work policy
By still allowing some degree of managerial discretion, this will allow you to accommodate requests in exceptional circumstances, for example, for genuine family emergencies. You may also want to allow employees to trade shifts or days off work and/or reward staff for working during weekends, bank holidays or other peak times.
Finally, in relation to the upcoming extra bank holiday, as employees don’t have an automatic right to paid time off, all employers are advised to carefully check the wording of their employee’s contracts and communicate with staff about whether or not they will be entitled to an additional day’s paid leave or, where applicable, required to work. In this way, everyone will be aware of the position well in advance, and be given ample opportunity to make their case for time off before booking a 9-day break that, ultimately, they may not be able to take.
DavidsonMorris’ HR and employment law specialists work with employers to support with compliant and effective workforce management, including advice on holiday entitlement and handling annual leave requests. Contact us for specialist advice.
Extra Bank Holiday 2022 FAQs
Is there an additional bank holiday in 2022?
In 2022 there will be an additional bank holiday to mark The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The Spring bank holiday will therefore be moved to Thursday 2nd June, with an extra holiday on Friday 3rd June, creating a 4-day weekend.
Do teachers get the extra bank holiday in 2022?
Yes, and if this additional bank holiday falls during half-term week, a different day of holiday will need to be identified elsewhere in the year on which the school will be closed and staff given a day’s paid leave.
Is 30 May 2022 a bank holiday?
The Spring bank holiday would usually take place at the end of May, but the public holiday dates have been re-shuffled for 2022, with an extra day added (over 2 and 3 June), to celebrate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Last updated: 2 October 2021