Working Bank Holidays

Today is a Bank Holiday. It’s usually the last one of the year until Christmas Day and Boxing Day however there is also talk of an extra one-off Bank Holiday in October. A lot of small business owners feel the need to work on Bank Holidays. Depending on your area of business, it might be the right thing to do. Gift shops and tourist attractions would be daft to not open, for example. Other businesses might consider taking the day off to relax in the garden, or simply being on call rather than pencilling work in. Let’s have a look at the benefits of working bank holidays, the benefits of taking them off and also, what the deal is this year in regards to paying staff that are currently being furloughed.

Work The Day

As mentioned above, there are lots of businesses where a Bank Holiday is a huge opportunity for them to make money. With families enjoying days out together, the likes of ice cream vans would be silly to not park up and try and sell their 99s. Coming out of the pandemic, some companies who perhaps aren’t customer facing might consider working that Bank Holiday to try and gain more business, catch up on the work they have and do a good job for their clients to secure more work further down the line.

Take The Day

You work all year, long hours, hard days. For what? If you can’t take a Bank Holiday off work to enjoy a BBQ in the garden or a walk in the local park with the kids, what are you doing it all for? It’s also an opportunity to refresh and refocus. If we work all the time we eventually burn out. If no one is expecting emails from you today, if there is no one in the office you usually work with, you’ll be able to enjoy the day without wasting the electricity of running your computer and powering the lights.

What About Employees?

If you have staff working for you, it’s worth remembering that there is no statutory right for employees to take a bank holiday off work. The right to time off depends on what is written in the contract that was signed when they accepted the job. It’s also worth noting, that whilst some companies do offer a benefit for working Bank Holidays, there is no statutory right to extra pay, such as double time or time and a half. Again, this comes into play depending on anything agreed on the contract when it was signed.

What’s The Deal With Bank Holidays On Furlough?

If an employee is currently being furloughed, the contract needs looking at. If Bank Holidays are including in holiday entitlement, employers then have a choice of two things. They can pay the employee for that bank holiday, in full. Alternatively the bank holiday can be substituted with a
day’s annual leave which can be taken later. There will be no effect on pay during furlough if the employee is not entitled to bank holidays off, as per their contract. If the extra one-off Bank Holiday is added in October, this will fall within the furlough scheme, which finishes at the end of of the
month. Therefore that Bank Holiday will also need to be considered in furlough payments.

Don’t forget, if you ever need any bookkeeping help, please get in touch with Clare at Bruton Young