Opinion

A right royal holiday

Everyone enjoys a good wedding and so it seems that David Cameron's Government, in need of a mood lifter, has declared the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, on 29 April 2011, an extra bank holiday.

The law doesn't entitle staff to specific bank holidays off, so businesses will need to be careful to manage the expectations of staff.

Prior to two changes, full time employees were entitled to 20 days a year holiday. However, when the changes were completed, in April 2009, full time staff became entitled to a minimum of 5.6 weeks holiday, or 28 days a year. The effect was to give staff the previous minimum of 20 days plus a new allowance of 8 days that equates to the normal bank holidays (but not necessarily the actual bank holidays) that occur in any year. Part time staff got their leave pro-rated. 

Businesses do not have to give 29 April as a specific extra holiday if they already give their staff the legal minimum. Of course, it would be a great morale booster if they did. For specific advice on staff leave entitlement, see Directgov.

This was first published in December 2010

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