Everyone loves a bank holiday! Don’t they?

04 Mar

We all know that Bank Holidays are most welcome. That extended weekend is a joyful time for most. 

The various days throughout the year, make up our +8 annual leave entitlement. However, those +8 days only calculate correctly for a leave year of January to December with Easter bank holiday days falling in April.

Due to the wording in some employee’s contracts, a potential issue has been spotted which could result in a shortfall in their holiday entitlement as a result of the recent Easter dates. Employers will be liable for this shortfall.

Statutory annual leave in the UK is 20 +8 days for a full time, 5-day week worker.

This issue will affect those employers that operate an annual leave year from 1st April to 31st March, and that use contract wording along the lines of ’20 days plus bank holidays’.

For 2016, the Easter bank holidays will fall on 25th and 28th March. In 2015, they fell on 3rd and 6th April. This means that TWO Easter breaks fall with 1 leave year running from 1st April 2015 to 31st March 2016. Affected employees will therefore gain two extra days on top of the usual 28. Failure to honour these extra two days as part of a contractual clause allowing for ’20 days plus bank holidays’ will result in breach of contract by employer.

For 2017, those with the April to March leave years will lose out by two days as their contract will only entitle them to 26 days’ leave, However, as the statutory amount is 28 this will also need to be honoured by employers and two extra days’ leave should be provided.

It would be deemed breach of contract by employer, if they opted to rely on the bonus holiday in one year to be ‘evened up’ by providing less than the statutory in the following year.

Confused?  Require a review of your annual leave policy/contract wording or advice to understand how this affects your business? Then get in touch with one of our friendly and helpful advisors on 020 8150 9960.


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*Adapted from article by Personnel Today, Feb 2016.