Bank and Public Holidays can be a bit of a bother. Mostly, they’re no trouble for employers. Where the business shuts on those days they bring a brief but much needed/enforced respite for many employees including those you often have to nag to take time off from the business.

But occasionally, those holidays cause some head scratching moments when it comes to calculating entitlements for part-time employees and starters/leavers.

With the majority of the Bank and Public Holidays (BPH) falling on Mondays, there are some part-time employees who are rarely scheduled to work on those days, but this doesn’t mean they should miss out on their “fair share” of those holidays.  The Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000 state that part-time employees may not be treated less favourably than their full time colleagues, and therefore their entitlement to Bank Holidays should be calculated on a pro-rata basis.  Simply put, if they work three days out of five, their annual leave and BPH should be 3/5ths of a full-time employee’s entitlement.  With 8 standard BPH in the UK, this is equivalent to 4.8 days, which should be rounded up to 5 days.  If annual leave is calculated in hours, then based on a standard working day of 7.5hrs, this would mean the employee is entitled to 36 hours of Bank Holiday time (only 4.8 days equivalent).

What if the employee always works Mondays?” This is where it gets interesting.

In 2022, we will have 5 Bank Holiday Mondays including 27 December (the deferred Bank Holiday for 26 December which falls on a Sunday).  An employee who works 3 days per week and always works Mondays would therefore have a shortfall of Bank Holidays when calculated pro rata if their holiday is calculated in hours rather than days.  The answer is simple, the extra leave is taken from their standard annual leave entitlement.

Had the Government not moved the Late Spring Bank Holiday to 3 June for the Queens’ Platinum Jubilee, 2022 would have been a year of 6 Bank Holiday Mondays, thus meaning the employee in the above example would have to use a whole day from their standard annual leave entitlement to top up their Bank Holiday entitlement.

The same applies for starters and leavers in a leave year, regardless of their full- or part-time status.  These employees would be entitled to a pro-rata amount of BPH just as they would their annual leave.  Care should be taken when calculating this, as there is likely to be a certain point in the year – depending on when your annual leave year starts/finishes – where the number of BPH used outweighs the number entitled to, based on accrual of service.

In respect of the extra Public Holiday granted by the government for 2022, provided your contract states the number of, or which, BPH employees are entitled to, employers won’t be obliged to offer an additional day of paid annual leave to their employees.  Now is the time to check your contracts and annual leave policies, and make a decision on whether you wish to stick with your policies, or offer an extra day anyway.

If maths isn’t your strong point, or if you’d like some assistance with that pesky Public holiday next year, get in touch and we’d be happy to help you through it.