Are staff entitled to time off for the extra bank holiday?

April 20, 2023 10:04 am Published by

The government has announced that Monday 8 May 2023 will be a national bank holiday in all parts of the UK, following the Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III, giving families and communities across the UK the opportunity to come together and celebrate.

However this bank holiday will be treated the same as other additional bank holidays, which means there is no statutory right to time off. As such Employers will need to review their Contracts of Employment to determine whether their staff are entitled to time off on this additional bank holiday, for example:

  • Contracts which say employees have a right to 20 days’ annual leave plus time off on 8 public/bank holidays, (or 19 days plus 9 bank holidays in Scotland) where the bank holidays are listed and there is no extra flexibility in the wording, will not have an automatic right to time off
  • Contracts which give a right to 20 days’ annual leave plus 8 public/bank holidays but do not list the bank holidays give the employer some flexibility to move leave around, i.e. the employer in this scenario could give staff this extra day off but require them to work on another public/bank holiday
  • Employees who have a contractual right to all public/bank holidays will be entitled to the extra day off
  • Employees whose contracts give them 28 days’ annual leave including all public/bank holidays have a right to the extra day’s leave but it will be deducted from their 28 days’ annual leave so effectively they will have fewer days on which to ‘choose’ to take leave.

Employers should check their contracts carefully for any other flexibility in the wording such as “8 public/bank holidays as listed, or other days as determined by us” which may allow the employer to give staff the extra day off but require them to work on another public/bank holiday.

Of course, where contracts do not include an automatic right to time off, employers can choose to give their employees an additional day of paid leave or staff can make an annual leave request in the usual way

For workers who are required to work on the day of the extra bank holiday, there are no statutory rules regarding extra pay on bank holidays. This will depend on the wording of the worker’s contract and any custom and practice that has been set on previous bank holidays, such as for the Queen’s funeral in September 2022.

There is no indication of government plans for this day to become an annual bank holiday. 

If you would like advice regarding the wording of your Contracts of Employment with reference to bank holidays or assistance with a letter to staff confirming your organisation’s position regarding time off work for the additional bank holiday please get in touch via


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This post was written by SKHR