Bank holiday payments to part-time staff

Are part-time staff entitled to pay on bank holidays when the business is closed?

The answer to this question depends on both statute and contract law. If your employment contracts list bank holidays as being an entitlement then part-timers are entitled to pay for those days. If the contract is silent in this respect and that bank holiday is a day they would not normally have worked they are not entitled to pay for it. A simple guide to start you in the right direction, if you close the doors on a day that they would otherwise have worked – you pay them.

Thus a part-timer who normally works say, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday would never work on Good Friday, Easter Monday, the two May day holidays or the August bank holiday. Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, rotating as they do through the days of the week, would mean that the part-timer would be paid as they occurred on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. (Amounts and days differ in Scotland).

The Government is increasing the annual paid holiday entitlement, under the amended Working Time Regulations to 4.8 weeks from October 2007 and to 5.6 weeks from October 2008. It is important to note that nothing in legislation states that employees and workers are entitled to the bank holidays as holidays. The one exception to this is workers covered by the Agricultural Wages Order. Since the Order specifies bank holidays as holidays, workers in that industry are entitled to them as a statutory right – all the rest of us, if we have such a right, have it through our contracts of employment. (For six day week workers the limit will be 28 days maximum not 6 days x 5.6 days.)

See also: What are the new rules on calculating holiday pay for seasonal workers?

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Peter Done

Peter is the founder and group managing director of Peninsula Business Services, established in 1983.

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