“How much holiday do you give your staff”, I ask. “Twenty days plus Bank Holidays” is often the reply.
Why do firms do this? Legally workers are entitled to a holiday allocation of 5.6 weeks (or 28 days) per holiday year. This means that 20 days plus Bank Holidays is not right.
“Don’t be pedantic” I hear you say!
Let me explain why I’m not pedantic.
Twenty Days Plus Bank Holidays
Consider this example: the holiday year runs from 1st April 2016 to 31st March 2017. The holiday allocation is 20 days plus English Bank Holidays. Bank Holidays in the holiday year ending March 2017 are May Day (2nd May 16), Spring Bank (30 May 16), Summer Bank (29 August 16), Boxing Day (26 December 16), Substitute Christmas Day (27 December 16), Substitute New Years Day (2nd January 17). So, there we have it – 20 days plus 6 Bank Holidays.
This means that in the holiday year starting April 2016 a firm is in breach of legislation if annual holiday is awarded on the basis of 20 days plus Bank Holidays. Two more days holiday must be added to comply with the statutory holiday requirements.
Dates for Easter
Dates for Easter are decide by the heads of the Christian churches and hence Easter is a floating holiday. As a result, Easter Bank Holidays in 2016 fall into the 2015 – 2016 holiday year! There are ten Bank Holidays in the April 2015 – March 2016 holiday year. And in the holiday year ending March 2018, there are nine Bank Holidays.
Confusing isn’t it!
So, what can you do? Any future terms and conditions of employment must state ’28 days holiday including Bank Holidays’. That will ensure your paperwork is correct. Whether, of course, you ask staff to take a day’s holiday if the Government allocates another Bank Holiday (for a Royal birth for example), or whether you grant an extra day paid is up to you. Also, you could consider changing the holiday year to a calendar year, following consultation, of course. That would solve the problem of Easter for all time!
So what to do with the holiday year ending 31st March 2017? You will need to allow two additional days holiday to meet the statutory requirements. And in the holiday year ending March 2017, you will need to allow for nine Bank Holidays. Check out the Holiday dates here.
Give us a call if you would like to review your current holiday provision and allow us to help ease the headache – which I’m sure you now have!