Am I allowed to take the Coronation Bank Holiday off?

Employment lawyers at Ellis Jones Solicitors have warned that the ‘contract is king’ when it comes to time off for the Coronation Bank Holiday.

King Charles III is due to be crowned on Saturday May 6 followed by a celebratory bank holiday designated for Monday May 8.

Regional law firm Ellis Jones Solicitors – with more than 170 staff in six offices across the South – says it has fielded numerous enquiries about whether employees have the right to the day off.

Partner Kate Brooks, Head of Employment/HR Services, said: “For many people the prospect of a long bank holiday weekend may be the crowning glory of the Coronation as a chance to celebrate or join in community activities.

“However, it is not necessarily that straightforward as there is no statutory right to have a public Bank Holiday off work.

“Ultimately, it depends on the exact wording in an employee’s contract of employment and whether they have the contractual right to the day off.

“Many contracts entitle an employee to a set number of days of annual leave plus bank holidays without specifying exactly how many.

“But others may be more prescriptive and refer to eight bank holidays or the usual bank holidays, in which case Monday May 8 will not be designated as a bank holiday day off.

“There are other complexities, depending on whether the business chooses to close for the day, whether unpaid dependents leave applies for family circumstances and rates of pay for those that do work.”

Kate added: “Employers are advised to decide upon their position and speak to their employees as soon as possible to avoid any confusion and possible issues in terms of business continuity on the day.”

There are eight bank holidays annually in England and nine in Scotland.

Ellis Jones Solicitors has offices in Bournemouth, Poole, Ringwood, Swanage, Wimborne and London.

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