As you'll no doubt be aware, an extra bank holiday to celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee has been announced for Friday 3 June 2022 and in furtherance of those celebrations, the late May bank holiday has been shifted to Thursday 2 June 2022. However, whether an employee is legally entitled to this extra bank holiday depends on the wording of their employment contract and many will be keen to understand whether they will be able to join in the celebrations.

What the law states

There's no automatic legal entitlement for an employee to take leave on 3 June 2022 simply because it has been announced as a public holiday. Whether an employee is entitled to take an additional paid holiday on this date depends on the specific wording of their contract of employment.

If the contract of employment specifies particular days that will be granted by the employer as public holidays, then it's unlikely that the employer will be obliged to grant the additional Platinum Jubilee day. However, if the contract of employment entitles an employee to all recognised public holidays, the employee may well have a legal entitlement to this additional holiday.

Of course, holiday entitlement clauses in contracts of employment and annual leave policies can be many and varied, so employers should take advice upon the documents which apply to them.

Solutions for employers

Employers whose employees are entitled to the Platinum Jubilee public holiday, and who are concerned that their business may be adversely affected may wish to negotiate with their employees over alternative arrangements. This could include granting an alternative day's holiday or paying a public holiday premium to employees.

Employers who're obliged to recognise the Platinum Jubilee holiday but expect their employees to work on that day should be careful to confirm they do have the contractual right to require their employees to work on a public holiday.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.