Do you give your employees 20 days holiday plus Bank Holidays?

If you do this and your holiday year runs from 1st April to 31st March then read on…

Easter fell early this year, giving rise to two extra Bank Holidays in the year 1st April 2015 to 31st March 2016. That is good Friday and Easter Monday arose twice in the same holiday year. Did you notice?

But in 2017 Easter falls late, meaning that in the holiday year 1st April 2016 to 31st March 2017 there is no Good Friday or Easter Monday. That is there are only 6 Bank Holidays in the year. Do I hear you say “Good – I get the extra pay back then”?

Unfortunately not. Employees are entitled to 5.6 weeks holiday in every holiday year and, if they work 5 days a week that means 28 days. So in 2016/17 you need to provide the entitlement to two extra days holiday, that is: 20 days holiday plus Bank Holidays (6) plus 2 days extra holiday for 2016/17 only.

Is there an alternative?

The alternative is to change the contract with your employees so that states:

Full time employees are allowed an annual holiday leave entitlement of 5.6 working weeks in a complete holiday year. Holiday entitlement is inclusive of Bank Holidays and Public Holidays.

You might advise each employee of this change and ask them to contact you if they have any queries. You could tell them that this is to avoid them losing out in 2016/17. It would be important to retain evidence that you have told each individual.

Doing so should meet your legal obligations. Employees are unlikely to object (since it confirms their right to a full 28 days holiday) and it will protect you in the future from holiday years in which Easter falls twice. It should also protect (subject to legal changes in the future) you from circumstances where the Government adds an extra days Public Holiday for whatever reason.

If you have any queries, please give Employer Solutions a call.

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