Minimise Bank Holiday Disruption for Your Business


Following a longer than average Bank Holiday weekend in celebration of the Queen’s Jubliee; many businesses might be scrambling to makeup lost hours, whereas others might have had a boom in sales thanks to the festivities.

Whether a boon or a bust to your business; Bank Holidays are here to stay and need to be factored in to when it comes to production, holiday and payroll.

According to the BBC, each bank holiday costs the UK economy£2.3bn. Plus, with business groups calling for the government to introduce anew bank holiday called ‘Thank Holiday’, we could be looking at more in the future. Though for now it looks like another bank holiday might not be on the horizon just yet, it’s worth understanding your stance on them as an employer.

With the help of The HR Dept South East London and North Kent, we answer some of the questions surrounding staffing bank holidays in your business.  

Do I have to give public holidays as paid leave?

The Working Time Regulations 1998 state that workers are entitled to 5.6 weeks of paid annual leave each year, with a pro-rated entitlement for part-time workers. It is up to you if this holiday entitlement includes bank holidays or not. You will need to stipulate terms surrounding holiday entitlement in your employment contracts.

Bank or public holidays do not have to be given as paid leave.

As an employer, you can choose whether to include bank holidays as part of a worker’s paid statutory annual leave.


My business is open on a bank holiday. How do I balance holiday requests?

This can be tricky for a small or medium sized business. You need your business to operate, but will equally want to be fair to your workforce. Staff contracts should explain the rules surrounding work on bank holidays and the following tips can help you to balance any requests for leave:

·        Use a fair process for approving holiday requests such as first come first served.

·        But don’t disregard religious reasons for requesting holiday, it could lead to discrimination.

·        Encourage workers to make plans early on to avoid disappointment.

·        Use a holiday management system such as Breathe HR*


Do I need to adjust pay for those working on a bank holiday?

There is no legal obligation to offer additional pay to staff working on a bank holiday. However, many employers do decide to offer an attractive rate for work-life balance. Where working bank holidays is mandatory the terms must be outlined in your employment contracts. Calculating holiday pay is complicated, if you’re unsure seek professional advice.


Do I need to provide time off in lieu to those working on a bank holiday?

You will need to provide time off in lieu (TOIL) if a member of staff is required to work on a bank holiday which goes towards their statutory holiday entitlement.

If bank holidays are in addition to their statutory holiday entitlement, as in they get 28 days + bank holidays, it will come down to what you have agreed in their contract regarding TOIL. Many companies pay additional time plus time off in lieu.


With solid processes in place and knowledge of how best to manage your workforce around bank holidays, you can ensure minimal disruption to your business and avoid a holiday headache.

If you have any questions about your responsibilities around holiday management, payroll and pensions please get in touch.

We can also put you in contact with our Partner company The HR Dept South East London and North Kent for any HR specific needs and requirements.


As an employer it is your responsibility to provide workers with the correct holiday entitlement. Getting it wrong can see you facing an employment tribunal claim for breaching the law.

If you manage a diverse workforce who work a range of hours and days, calculating holiday can be complex. Speak to us about all our business management support resources on hand to simplify and support your growing business.


Call us today on 01322 555442 to find out more, alternatively email us at

*The information about providers and services contained on this webpage does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by Blue Rocket Accounting

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