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Blog • 10.05.19

Bank holiday entitlement for part time workers

Kate L
HR Consultant

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Take one part-time employee who always works on Monday, and another who never does. Does only the Monday worker benefit from paid leave for the bank holiday Mondays? In short, no. Employees should be treated equally, and this includes bank holiday entitlement too.

Bank holidays are one of the trickiest elements of annual leave to get your head around at first. Add part-time employees and zero-hours workers to the mix and it gets even more complex.

But don’t panic! We’ll help you get to grips with things in this post.

What’s the law on working bank holidays?

The key thing to know about bank holidays is that there’s no statutory right for employees to take bank holidays off.

This means it’s down to you to decide what your policy will be around bank holidays, and to document this in your employment contracts. You could choose, for example:

  • To include bank holidays within the 5.6 week statutory paid holiday entitlement.
  • To offer extra paid leave – in addition to the statutory minimum – for the bank holidays.
  • To require staff to work bank holidays, ensuring they still receive their full 5.6 week entitlement across the year.
  • To grant employees unpaid leave for bank holidays

Bank holidays for part time workers

An important legislation to remember here is that part-time workers must be treated no less favourably than full-time employees. This includes entitlement to bank holidays.

So, however you decide to manage bank holidays, all part-time workers will be entitled to the pro-rata equivalent of full-time workers.

This means that irrespective of whether the employee usually works on a Monday or not, they should still receive the same pro-rata allocation of paid holiday days.

For example, an employee who works part-time on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, would be entitled to 3/5 of the holiday leave and pay of a full-time employee. For example, if this was 28 days including bank holidays, the part-time employee would receive (28/5) x 3 = 16.8 days paid leave, and would have to use this allocation to cover any bank holiday days that fall on a Monday.

An employee working Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday would be entitled to the same 16.8 days paid leave, but because they never work on a Monday, they would not have to use their annual leave allocation to cover the bank holiday days.

For companies where the bank holidays are counted as additional paid leave, this would mean full-time employees would receive 36 days paid leave. Part-time workers who work 3 days a week would receive (36/5) x 3 = 21.6 days paid leave, irrespective of whether they work on a Monday.

Bank holiday entitlement for zero hours staff

For zero hours staff, the same applies; they must be treated equally to full-time staff.

So, if your policy is to offer paid leave for bank holidays, your zero-hours staff must receive the pro-rata equivalent.

In summary:

  • All employees and workers must receive the statutory 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday per annum.
  • Bank holidays can be included within the statutory allowance.
  • There is no statutory requirement to pay or offer leave for bank holidays.
  • Part-time employees and zero-hours workers must be treated no less favourably than full-time. So, if you pay full-time staff for bank holidays, in addition to the statutory minimum, you must ensure the rest of your workforce receives the same entitlement, regardless of whether they would be working the bank holiday days or not.

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Our HR software can help you to view and track each employee’s holiday allowance, taking the stress out of day to day admin.

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