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Diamond Jubilee Bank Holiday?

There’s an extra bank holiday next year for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in June. Do you have to give this holiday to employees?

The quick legal answer is that there’s no obligation on employers to give this (or any other) bank holiday and employers have a number of options:

  • Do not give the bank holiday and continue to operate the business on that day.
  • Close the business and give employees the additional day as a paid holiday on a one-off basis.
  • Close the business and give notice to employees that they will need to reserve one of their holiday days to cover this closure.

However, your contractual position might be different. If you have traditionally given one-off bank holidays in the past, e.g. the Royal Wedding this year, but do not intend to give the additional holiday next year, your employees might claim that taking additional one-off bank holidays is ‘custom and practice’ within the business, and that not giving the additional day would be a breach of an implied term of their contract. You might also be obliged to give the extra day if your annual holiday entitlement is expressed as, for example, ‘four weeks plus all bank/public holidays’.

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