Practice management

Do we need to give staff an extra bank holiday in May?

Are struggling practices obliged to give staff an extra day off for the King's coronation?

King's coronation logo
  • Date: 21 March 2023
  • |
  • 2 minute read

Following the additional bank holiday last year to celebrate the Queen’s platinum jubilee, 2023 will see another additional holiday to mark the coronation of King Charles III. The holiday will be on Monday, May 8 and will be in addition to the scheduled bank holiday for May 1. This may be a source of stress for some practices who are under considerable pressure from rising workloads and difficulties with staffing levels.

Legally, there is no obligation or automatic right for an employee to be given time off on a bank holiday – this will come down to what is in their contract. If their contract states a specific number of days or names the bank holidays recognised, the practice will not be obliged to give the additional bank holiday. However, if the contract just states that the practice recognises all bank holidays then it is likely that the employee will be entitled to the additional day.

In addition to the contractual wording, another consideration for practices will be whether they intend to close on the king’s coronation and how to manage this for employees who do not have the contractual right to take the additional paid bank holiday. The options available are to grant this additional day at the practice’s discretion or to require employees to use a day’s holiday from their existing holiday allowance.

Under the Working Time Regulations, if an employer requires an employee to take a holiday at a certain time, then double the difference in notice needs to be given, so in this case two days’ notice, although earlier communication would be more reasonable.

If the practice intends to stay open on May 8 and the employee’s contract does not entitle them to the additional bank holiday, then the employee can request the day off as a holiday following the practice’s standard holiday request procedure. Requests for time off for the coronation should be considered and the practice should try to be as flexible as they can as those with children may find that schools are closed.

If you are unsure as to whether your contracts allow staff to take the additional bank holiday, send a copy of the contract to and a member of our HR and employment advisory team will look at this for you.

This page was correct at the time of publication. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.

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