What the Queens Funeral means for Employers and Employees
The day of the Queen’s Funeral will be a sad day for many, a chance to pay respects, watch the funeral on television, maybe visit London to be a part of the event - Monday September 19th has been declared a Bank Holiday and as such it throws up questions for employers and employees alike.
Legal entitlement to bank holidays
The guidance states that there is no automatic statutory entitlement for a worker to have time off for Bank Holidays in the UK and that it depends on the contractual arrangements in place with each employee.
“I would however expect employers to consider the general feeling, schools are shut, other public services are closing and as such employers may want to give their staff paid time off at this time of national mourning,” said Pearson Solicitors, Head of Employment Law, Susan Mayall.
“There will of course be staff for whom the day does not have the same significance and employee responses will be varied, but for many their place of work will still be closed. Some businesses may also have contractual commitments in place that day, or have shift workers and might therefore require people to work,” she added.
If this is the case the advice is to check an employee’s contract of employment and it is advisable to explain the decisions and why the business is open to the workforce.
“In good faith it may also be an option to allow workers to observe a minute’s silence or an ability to watch the 11am funeral in the workplace if at all possible and try not to have meetings or phone calls at this time,” added Susan.
“The Working Time Regulations do not give employees an automatic right to take paid leave on a statutory or public bank holiday but I would expect that many of my employer clients are considerate of their staff’s feelings at this time. For those who have to work it will of course depend very much on the employment contract,” said Susan Mayall.
Bank holiday entitlement for part time workers
Employers should take into account those staff who work part-time and would perhaps not be working on a bank holiday like the day of the Queen's Funeral.
Part-time employees, some shift workers, and those staff on sick or on statutory leave, such as maternity/paternity or parental leave, consideration should be given to these receiving additional annual leave entitlement also.
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Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.
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