Following the death of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, a bank holiday has been declared to allow individuals, businesses and other organisations to pay their respects on Monday 19th September 2022 for the State Funeral. But does that mean you must give your employees the day off?

As this day is a special bank holiday, and not one that any business has accounted for, decisions need to be made and arrangements discussed as soon as possible in how this will affect your employees.

Even though Monday 19th has been confirmed by the government as a national bank holiday, and a day that they “encourage” employers to give employees time off, the government cannot interfere in any existing contractual arrangements between employers and employees. Therefore, if your business would normally open on a bank holiday, then you can request your employees to work as per their contractual terms.

It is a matter for discussion between both parties, and as long as you respond sensitively to any requests for leave, then you can still decline if there is a valid business reason that employees are required to work.

There is no statutory entitlement to time off for bank holidays, but you may include bank holidays as part of an employee’s leave entitlement, where they would be entitled to take time off at a later date. There is also no statutory rules regarding extra pay on this bank holiday, meaning that employees could be working their normal hours and receiving the same pay.

Communication with your employees

Communicate with your employees confirming:

  • Whether the business will close for the bank holiday
  • What type of leave and pay will apply if employees are not working
  • The process employees should follow to ask for the bank holiday off, if the business is still operating

It’s important to note that everyone will be affected differently by the Queen’s death, and this is something that an employer should consider and offer the necessary support if their employees need it.

There are various supporting sites available for grieving for a public figure:

A4G will be honouring the bank holiday, giving our team the opportunity to share this day of national mourning for Her Majesty on 19th September. Our office will reopen and normal work resumes on Tuesday 20th. Although some members of the team will still be monitoring a few items in the afternoon.