As a business owner or employer, it may be prudent to consider the timing of this year’s Easter bank holiday dates to ensure you do not breach the Working Time Regulations.
The Working Time Regulations are a set of rules that dictates that employees are entitled to paid annual leave totalling a minimum of 5.6 weeks.
Amongst other things, these regulations also provide workers with the right to:
- An uninterrupted 24 hours without any work each week, or an uninterrupted 48 hours without any work each fortnight
- Limit the number of hours an employee can work per week (a maximum of 48 hours, unless the employee would prefer to ‘opt-out’ and work more hours)
- A 20 minute rest break if the working day is longer than 6 hours.
The timing of this year’s Easter bank holidays could mean that your employees are legally entitled to more bank holidays in this years holiday year, if your businesses holiday year runs in line with the financial year (1st April – 31 March).
Easter Holiday Dates 2018
Easter 2018 falls in the months of March and April.
Good Friday falls on 30th March 2018 and Easter Monday falls on 2nd April 2018, therefore the Good Friday bank holiday this year will correspond to the 2017-18 holiday year and the Easter Monday bank holiday will correspond to the 2018-19 holiday year.
This means that any staff member whose employment contract says they have the right to 20 days of holiday plus Public/Bank holidays will be entitled to nine Public/Bank holidays during the 2017-18 leave year.
Depending on the contract wording, this could mean employees are contractually entitled to 29 days’ holiday.
The contract wording may suggest that your employees will only have 27 days of holiday during the up-and-coming 2018-19 annual leave year as there will only be seven Public/Bank holidays that correspond with this holiday year, which is one day less than the statutory minimum amount holidays your workers are legally entitled to.
If this is the case, you must provide all of your staff members with an additional day of leave, as not to breach the Working Time Regulations.
Although we’re currently only in January, now would be a good time to review the wording in your employment contracts, in order to ensure they are not leaving your business vulnerable in any way.
How Can we Help you?
If your business holiday year does run inline with the financial year and your employment contracts detail the above stated information, we can help you amend the wording and guide you on the correct process of consultation with your employees to ‘vary their contract of employment’. You cannot just change the wording as this could lead to certain types of employment tribunal claims.
If your business holiday year runs with the calendar year, this will obviously will not affect you, but we can still help in making sure you are managing your holiday entitlement obligations correctly.
PeoplepointHR will be happy to provide a free critique of your employment contracts and make recommendations to ensure they reflect your business operations expectations. Please do not hesitate to contact our team of consultants today.