The King’s Coronation – are employees entitled to a day off?

February 15, 2023

By Damian Phillips

It was recently announced that 8th May 2023 will be an extra bank holiday in the UK to mark King Charles III’s Coronation. However, are employees automatically entitled to the extra day off?

Employers may be quite familiar with what to do with extra bank holidays after last year, but we thought a quick refresher in the run up to the Coronation would be useful. So here’s what you need to know:

Employers aren’t always obliged to give their staff the extra day off…

It’s worth knowing that employees don’t have an automatic right to the extra day off. Whether or not an employee has the right to the extra day off will depend entirely on the exact wording of their employment contract. For example, their contract could be drafted in one of the following three ways:

  1. An employee’s contract could say that they’re entitled to a certain number of days annual leave including bank holidays. This will mean that there’s no automatic right to the extra bank holiday, and it will be the employer’s decision whether or not they want to give their staff the extra day off.
  2. An employee’s contract could say that they’re entitled to a certain number of days annual leave plus the usual bank holidays. Again, in this scenario, the employee will not have an automatic right to the extra bank holiday. A day off to celebrate a King’s Coronation isn’t something that happens every year so will not be considered a ‘usual’ bank holiday. In this case, again there won’t be an automatic entitlement to the extra day off and it will be completely up to the employer.
  3. An employee’s contract could say that they’re entitled to a certain number of days annual leave plus all bank holidays. In this scenario, employees will have a contractual right to the extra day off.

But should employers give staff the day off anyway?

Regardless of the technical entitlement to the extra day off in the contract, many employers will still offer staff the day off. If they do so however, we’d always advise employers to communicate this message clearly (explaining that this is a unique, one-off occasion) and to apply the approach consistently.

If you need any further help or advice, please contact Damian Phillips on dphillips@darwingray.com or 02920 829 126 for a free initial chat to see how we can help you.

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