24 November, 2010
Following the announcement that the Royal Wedding will be a bank holiday Forbes Solicitors is advising businesses to check contracts to see what impact this may have on their business.
Kate Middleton and Prince William are due to marry on Friday 29th April 2011. Prime Minister, David Cameron has announced that this will be a bank holiday to allow for a national celebration.
The news has received mixed reactions from employees and employers. Employees in the main appear to welcome the additional day off. Many smaller businesses however are concerned about the cost to them in giving an additional paid day off.
Ruth Rule-Mullen, Employment Solicitor at Forbes Solicitors comments, "From a legal point of view, employers would be advised to check their employees' contract of employment as to the wording regarding payment for this additional day. Employees are not automatically entitled to be paid for a day off on bank holidays and in some types of industry employees will simply not be able to take the time off."
If the contract permits employees to take paid bank holidays off or they have in fact done so on a regular basis, then it is likely they will be entitled to paid time off. In the event employees have the current statutory entitlement which includes bank holidays, there is an arguable case that they do not have to be paid for the time off and can take it from their existing holiday entitlement.
Employers will need to consider the impacts on service, the cost to their business and also employees' morale if they are usually permitted to take bank holidays off and are paid for it.