Coronation Bank Holiday: should your staff have the day off?

By Anita Jaynes on 13 December, 2022

Remy Morland, Head of HR Consultancy at The HR Dept Swindon, North Wiltshire and East Cotswolds gives her advice.

With news that an additional bank holiday has been granted to the whole of the UK for the Coronation of King Charles III, employers may be wondering if their staff automatically get that day off.

The Government has confirmed that the Coronation will take place on Saturday 6th May and the following Monday, 8th May, will be a bank holiday, to allow everyone to celebrate His Majesty taking the throne. 

But does that mean staff are entitled to this extra day? The answer lies in scrutinising their contract of employment and how the holiday clause is worded:

In summary:

  • If contracts state “20 days holiday plus bank holidays” you must honour the extra bank holiday.
  • If contracts state “20 days holiday plus 8 bank holidays” or “28 days holiday including 8 bank holidays” you are under no obligation to give staff the extra day off. However, you may if you wish.
  • If your contract states 5.6 weeks (or more weeks) then it is important to note if the contract also states whether it is inclusive or in addition to the bank holidays.
  • Where employees must work on a Bank Holiday, for example care home staff, and they are entitled to the bank holiday in line with their contract of employment, a day must be given to them in lieu.  

Our advice is that employers adopt the same approach they took to the two extra bank holidays which occurred this year – one for the Platinum Jubilee and the second for the day of the Queen’s funeral.

However, it is important to communicate your plans to staff as soon as possible so there is no confusion, and they know early on whether they automatically get the bank holiday, or whether there is an option to take this as part of their holiday entitlement.

If staff are not entitled to this extra bank holiday, then as the employer, you might decide to grant this as an additional day anyway, on top of annual holiday entitlement. Alternatively, you might choose to give everyone the day off, but they have to take this from their annual holiday allocation.

If you would like them to use their holiday entitlement to cover this day but an employee has already taken or booked all their holiday entitlement for the holiday year, you could allow them to take the day off as additional unpaid holiday. 

As for the Coronation day itself, if your business opens on Saturdays then you might decide to close for all or part of the day, to allow you team to watch the proceedings. You might allow staff to make up hours another time, or waive them altogether. For the Queen’s funeral, many businesses (such as retailers) opted to do this. Whatever you choose is at your discretion, as an employer.

Our advice is to make your decision early on and relay this to your team as soon as possible.

Visit the The HR Dept Swindon, North Wiltshire and East Cotswolds online at: www.hrdept.co.uk/swindon-north-wiltshire-east-cotswolds/ and to get in touch with Remy, email: Remy.Morland@hrdept.co.uk