There is no Easter next year

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Not quite but this is true if your holiday year runs between 1st April and 31st March.

What is the issue?

Easter 2016 fell on 25th March to 28th March therefore appearing in holiday year 2015-2016. Easter 2017 falls on 14th April to 17th April, which means that it appears in holiday year 2017-2018. Easter 2015 fell on 3rd April to 6th April, all of which means as follows:

1st April 2015 – 31st March 2016: two Easter holidays
1st April 2016 – 31st March 2017: no Easter holidays.

Why is this a problem?

It might not be but it will if the holiday entitlement you provide your employees is 20 days plus bank holidays. In 2016-2017, without Easter, there are only six bank holidays. You will therefore be permitting your employees to take only 26 days holiday, two below the statutory minimum of 28.

It does not matter that employees gained two days in the previous year and you cannot rely on this to show that you met the minimum requirement by using the average over the two years.

What is the solution?

The only real solution is to ensure that, in 2016-2017, employees are provided 22 days plus bank holidays. Employers cannot get round the statutory minimum holiday allowance.

However, this is an issue that is likely to crop up again in future and a review of contracts may be wise. Employers should consider amending terms to allow 28 days including bank holidays.

For further assistance in relation to this issue or for any information on any of our services for employers, please contact Thomas Wood on thomas.wood@forbessolicitors.co.uk or 01254 222 396.

Thomas Wood

About Thomas Wood

Tom Wood is an Associate Solicitor within the Employment team at Forbes Solicitors. Tom’s blogs cover his specialisms of restructures, TUPE, discrimination and the termination of employment. Tom also writes and advises companies in relation to holidays and compliance with the working time regulations; handling maternity and paternity matters as well as whistleblowing. Tom provides a practical and commercial insight on the most complex of employment problems.
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