The Working Times Regulation 1998 allows 5.6 weeks’ annual leave. This equates to 28 days full time with part time workers having a pro-rata entitlement. It is important to bear in mind that although the 28 days is generally seen as 4 weeks of 5 days plus 8 bank holidays, the Regulations do not allow the right to time off on bank holidays as a given, but rather to time off as agreed with the employer. The answer is therefore entirely dependent upon the contract and in the absence of a contract, upon custom. If the contract provides for 20 days annual leave plus statutory bank and public holidays, this would give the worker an extra day’s paid leave this year.

However, if the contract allows “the usual” bank holidays an employer may not be obliged to give the additional days leave for the Jubilee. If the contract
provides for 28 days annual leave inclusive of bank holidays then the Diamond Jubilee will be included within the 28 day entitlement and there will be no entitlement as of right to the additional day.

The safest option for employers dealing with part timers is to pro-rata the overall bank holiday entitlement to reflect the number of hours worked in each leave year. Contracts which allow part timers to take leave only for the bank holidays which fall on their normal working days may expose employers to the claim of treating part time workers less favourably and is to be avoided.

At the end of the day, whatever the contract states, employers must be mindful of the impact of their decisions upon staff morale in the long run.

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