Extra 2023 Bank Holiday for King Charles III’s Coronation

Lauren Wilson
Lauren Wilson
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The new Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, has in the past week announced that there will be an additional bank holiday in 2023 to mark the coronation of King Charles III.

The holiday will fall on Monday, 8 May 2023 and is in addition to the normal bank holiday already scheduled for the Monday before, 1 May 2023.

Employers may be wondering whether they need to grant staff an additional paid holiday for the coronation bank holiday on 8 May.

Legally, there is no automatic entitlement for an employee to take a day off on any bank holiday or to be paid for it. Whether or not an employee is entitled to take an additional paid holiday on the coronation bank holiday will depend on the specific wording of their contract of employment.

If their contract of employment specifies that particular named days, or a specific number of days, will be granted by the employer as paid bank holidays, then it is unlikely that the employer will be obliged to grant an additional day for the coronation bank holiday. However, a contract of employment that entitles employees in more general terms to “all recognised bank holidays” (or similar) may well provide a basis for employees to be entitled to this additional holiday, particularly if the employer also gave staff paid time off on the bank holiday for the Queen’s Jubilee or for the Queen’s funeral earlier in 2022.

Employers who are unsure as to whether the wording of their contracts of employment gives staff the right to take the coronation bank holiday as a paid holiday should take specific legal advice.

When thinking about how to proceed, and in addition to the contractual wording and any obligations arising there, another relevant consideration may also be whether the employer intends to shut their business on the coronation bank holiday. If the employer is going to close to mark the coronation and staff do not have the contractual right to take the day off as a paid bank holiday, the employer may wish to grant them an additional day at their discretion or require them to use a day’s holiday from their existing holiday allowance. If the latter, the employer would need to give at least two days’ notice of that requirement, although earlier communication with staff is recommended.

If the employer is going to remain operational on the coronation bank holiday, and staff are not contractually entitled to take the day off as a holiday, employees should be able to request to take the day off as a holiday in the normal way. We recommend that, wherever possible, employers approach such applications for time off flexibly, particularly given that some schools may be closed on the coronation bank holiday.

If you have any questions regarding this update, or if you require support or advice on any other employment law matters, please do not hesitate to contact our team on 0141 331 5150.

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