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The way the England and Wales bank holidays fall in 2018 and 2019 means that if your business operates a holiday year of 1 April to 31 March and your employment contracts state that holiday entitlement is '20 days plus 8 bank holidays' (or similar wording) your staff will not benefit from a Good Friday bank holiday in the 2018/19 leave year. This would be in breach of their contract of employment.
Giving employees who work a five-day week fewer than 28 days' annual leave is a breach of the Working Time Regulations 1998, regardless of the number of bank holidays in a particular holiday year.
Failure to honour a contractual clause providing for "20 days' holiday plus bank holidays" would also result in an employer being in breach of contract.
See below which shows only seven bank holidays within 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2019
New Year’s Day - 1 January
Good Friday – 30 March
Easter Monday – 2 April
Early May Bank Holiday (May Day) - 7 May
Spring Bank Holiday – 28 May
August Bank Holiday – 27 August
Christmas Day – 25 December
Boxing Day – 26 December
New Year’s Day - 1 January
Good Friday – 19 April
What should you do?
If this affects your business, you will need to provide one day's extra holiday for the annual leave year of 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019 to make up for the missing bank holiday, and ensure that employees retain their 28-day statutory entitlement.
Will this happen again?
Yes in 2024 - Good Friday is on 31 March and Easter Monday is on 1 April.
Did you know?!
The August Bank Holiday was instituted by the Bank Holidays Act of 1871 to give bankers a day off so they could participate in cricket matches. Since then, however, its significance has greatly expanded beyond those narrow limits!
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