Queen’s Diamond Jubilee: Acas reminds employers of holiday issues

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Summer may seem a long way off but celebrations have already begun to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. To mark the occasion there will be an extra bank holiday on Tuesday 5 June 2012 – the last bank holiday in May has also been moved to Monday 4 June. Employers may find themselves having to juggle extra leave requests.

Acas is reminding employers to plan ahead to avoid last minute leave request clashes or short-term absences.

Acas National Helpline Manager Stewart Gee said: “For many, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee is an opportunity to celebrate and with two bank holidays at the beginning of June, employers may receive more requests for time off. We’re already getting calls to the Acas helpline from employers seeking advice. It’s important to be as fair and consistent as possible by having a policy on how to manage time off and leave requests so employees can join in the celebrations and employers can maintain morale at work.”

Holiday guidance:

* There is no statutory right to bank/public holidays, so the announcement of an extra bank holiday does not increase any entitlement to holiday under the Working Time Regulations.

* Whether an employee will benefit from the additional bank holiday will depend on the wording of their contract.

For example, a contract which entitles a worker to, 20 days annual leave in addition to all statutory, bank and public holidays, would potentially give the worker an extra day’s paid holiday. But if public holidays are listed by name, in a contract, a worker may not be automatically entitled to the extra public holiday.

* There is no legal right to be paid any extra for working a bank holiday. This will depend on the terms of the employment contract.

However many employers do provide incentives to work on bank holidays so it can be worth checking out any contractual obligations.

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  1. I note that there is no mention of the extra day’s work due to leap year. Is this covered off in contracts? Did employers pay staff for the extra day?

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