Bank holiday confirmed for Queen Elizabeth's funeral - guidance for employers and employees

Following the death of the Queen, a period of national mourning was announced and it will continue until the end of the day of the state funeral, Monday 19 September 2022.

There is no obligation on organisations to suspend business during the mourning period.  Guidance on this can be found on the GOV.UK website here.

However, a special bank holiday has been confirmed on the day of the state funeral, Monday, 19 September 2022.

The guidance below explains how leave for special bank holidays should be handled by employers.

Special bank holidays

Throughout the calendar year, scheduled bank holidays take place and are planned and notified in advance.

However, bank holiday dates can be changed or additional days declared, for example to mark a day of importance.

An example of this is the upcoming bank holiday to mark the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II on 19 September 2022.

A worker’s minimum paid annual leave entitlement is 5.6 weeks.  There is no statutory right to time off for bank holidays; however, an employer may choose to include these as part of the worker’s minimum entitlement.

Where an individual’s contract states that they are entitled to the statutory minimum annual leave entitlement, additional bank and public holidays would not increase their paid holiday entitlement.

If an individual’s contract states they are entitled to 20 days’ annual leave, plus all bank and public holidays, they should receive additional bank or public holidays in addition to their annual leave.


Information for employers about bank holidays and annual leave

Employers do not have to provide paid leave on bank and public holidays but may choose to allow the staff to take paid leave on these days.  The right to time off on bank holidays (including additional and special days) depends on the terms of the employment contract you have with your employees.

It is advisable that the contract of employment sets out how public and bank holidays will be treated by the employer. The contract should cover:

  • If public and bank holidays can be taken as paid leave;
  • If they work on these days what the pay rate is; and
  • When a public or bank holiday occurs at the weekend, weekdays the following week (usually Monday and Tuesday) are usually declared a holiday.

When a worker normally works at the weekends and the holiday falls on these days, their entitlement to time off depends on their contract of employment.

It is best that this is clearly set out in the contract to avoid any issues arising.

Information for employees regarding additional/special bank holiday leave

Bank holidays may be included in your paid holiday entitlement, but your employer does not have to give you time off for a bank holiday (including additional special bank holidays) if they are not included in your holiday entitlement.

This is the same if you work full or part-time.

You can check your employment contract to find out if this is the case or not

If a bank holiday occurs when you are on sick leave or maternity leave

If these are included as part of your contractual or statutory holiday entitlement, you still build up paid days off for bank holidays while on:

  • Sick leave; or
  • Maternity, paternity, adoption or shared parental leave.

Further information for employers and employees:

Should you have specific queries on this issue (or any other employment related issue) please contact the Labour Relations Agency’s Workplace Information Service on 03300 555 300  (Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm) or have a look at the guidance and resources on our website

Special Bank holiday FAQs

Some common questions around the special bank holiday can be found below:




Are workers entitled to the bank holiday as an additional paid holiday?

There is no statutory entitlement to paid leave on the bank holiday.

The government cannot interfere in existing contractual arrangements between employers and workers. However, they would expect that many workers will be able to take the day off on the bank holiday. They also expect employers to respond sensitively to requests from workers who wish to take the day of the funeral off work.

Entitlement to paid leave will depend on the terms of your contract with the employer.

If your contract entitles you to annual leave and all bank and public holidays – Yes

If your contact entitles you to the statutory 5.6 weeks only –No

If your contract entitles you to 5.6 weeks leave inclusive of bank and public holidays – No

If your contract specifies the exact bank and public holidays you are entitled to in your contract – No

Even if you have no contractual entitlement to paid leave on this bank holiday, your employer may choose to allow you paid or unpaid time off on the day of the funeral of Queen Elizabeth ll.

If my employer requires me to work on the bank holiday, can I take this day at another time?

If your contact entitles you to paid time off on all bank holidays you should be allowed to take this day at another time (day in lieu). The alternative time off must be agreed with your employer.

As an employer, I cannot accommodate letting all of our employees have time off on the day of the funeral of Queen Elizabeth ll. How should I handle this?

It is important that you speak to your employees and or their trade union/employee representatives to discuss how this will be managed. If you are able to allow time off for some but not all workers, you should consider allowing alternative time off for those who cannot be accommodated on the day of the funeral. You could also consider, if it is feasible in your business, to provide a facility to allow workers to watch the funeral on TV/Online.

Am I entitled to be paid an enhanced rate for working on the bank holiday – this will depend on your contract. If the contract allows for enhanced payment on bank holidays – yes. If there is no provision in the contract for enhanced payment on bank holidays – no.

As schools will be closed on the bank holiday, I will be unable to attend work on that day as I have childcare responsibilities. I am not entitled to the bank holiday. What can I do?

If there is no contractual right to the time off, you should speak to your employer and come to some arrangement as to how this can be facilitated. Your employer could allow you to work remotely or could accommodate the day off either with or without pay, depending on your contractual entitlement.

Further information is available on: