Do you need to pay employees overtime for working a bank holiday?

Florist Handing Open Sign in Shop Window


If you require your employees to work on bank holidays, how does this affect their pay? Should you be giving them overtime or time off in lieu? What are their rights and as an employer what are you required to do when it comes to working bank holidays? Let’s take a look.

2019 Bank holidays
In England, there are 7 bank holidays left in 2019. These are:

Good Friday – 19th April
Easter Monday – 21st April
May Day – 6th May
Spring bank holiday – 27th May
Summer bank holiday – 26th August
Note: Bank holiday dates will differ for Scotland and Northern Ireland.


Regulatory requirements
The website states that:

“Bank or public holidays do not have to be given as paid leave. An employer can choose to include bank holidays as part of a worker’s statutory annual leave.”

This means that all you are mandated to pay your employees is the standard minimum wage appropriate for their age for the hours they have worked. There is no rule that enforces additional payments for working on a bank holiday.


Ensuring contracts are correct
You need to ensure that your employment contracts reflect how you wish to pay your staff, including how bank holidays will be dealt with. You might opt to use wording such as:

“You are entitled to the statutory 5.6 weeks’ paid annual leave each year. This [includes]/[does not include] bank holidays (delete as necessary)”.

You can choose to pay your employees additional monies for working during a bank holiday. However, there is no regulatory requirement to do so unless the contract states you will. It is up to you if you wish to compensate your staff for working over a public holiday.

However, you must ensure that all employees are treated equally and consistently. You cannot pay an enhancement to one worker and not another.


Ask for volunteers
One way to cover the bank holiday and keep your employees happy is to ask for volunteers to cover the public holiday and give them an additional day of annual leave to take in the future. That way people who really wish to spend the day with family and not working can do so and those who are not so bothered can take an extra day at a time that suits them better.

Meaning a happy workforce and you can maintain a continuity of service at no additional cost.


Further information
If you found this information useful you may also want to check out the following:

How neurodiversity in the workplace can benefit your business
What happens to your business when you go on holiday?
Reducing the cost of company motor insurance


MRA help individuals, businesses and families achieve the best quality of life they can with the resources they have. MRA specialise in corporate solutions, cash-flow analysis, taxation, debt management, savings and investments, lifestyle planning and much more.

Business Consultants based in East Sussex we service clients across the South East, Sussex and Kent, including smaller towns such as Ashford, Battle, Bexhill, Bodiam, Brighton & Hove, Cranbrook, Crowborough, Eastbourne, Hailsham, Hastings, Heathfield, Herstmonceux, Lewes, Mayfield, Newhaven, Rye, Seaford, Sevenoaks, Tenterden, Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells.