Jeremy Corbyn has promised us four more bank holidays if Labour win the election; the idea is to enable employees to spend more time with their families, a laudable aim, but holiday entitlement under the Working Time Regulations is stated to be 5.6 weeks inclusive of bank holidays and therefore whether or not four more bank holidays actually increases the overall holiday allowance will depend on how a workers contract of employment is written.

For workers who are usually given bank holidays off (office workers for example), if their contractual holiday entitlement is said to be X number of days ‘inclusive’ of bank holidays, an additional four days of bank holiday will not increase the overall holiday allowance, it will just mean four fewer days the employee can take off at a time to suit them. If the contract says holiday allowance is ‘in addition’ to bank holidays, then additional bank holidays will increase the overall holiday allowance.

For workers who are not traditionally given a bank holiday off (retail workers for example – remember, there is no legal right to take a bank holiday off) the increase in the number of bank holidays will probably not make any difference to the overall holiday allowance because their contracts are likely to set out holiday entitlement disregarding bank holidays because they have to work them anyway.

If Labour is serious about the desire for workers to have more time with the family, it will have to increase the statutory minimum holiday as provided for under the Working Time Regulations to ensure more bank holidays is something that benefits all workers (even if it’s not on a bank holiday).

Employers, time to review your contracts?

If you have any specific questions arising, please do not hesitate to contact our Employment Partner, Linky Trott, or any member of the Edwin Coe Employment team.

Please note that this blog is provided for general information only. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content of this blog.

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