Public holidays and bank holidays

Employees are not automatically entitled to paid time off for bank and public holidays.

Employers may choose to allow their staff to take paid leave on these days.

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 (normal hourly rate or overtime)

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 if what happens in these circumstances is explained in the contact explicitly to avoid any issues.

Last updated: 30 April 2019