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Legal guidance of whether employees have to work on Bank Holiday during Queen's funeral

Shola Lee

Published 
| Last updated 

Legal guidance of whether employees have to work on Bank Holiday during Queen's funeral

Following Queen Elizabeth II's passing on Thursday, 8 September, King Charles III announced a bank holiday for her funeral.

Britain's longest reigning monarch died surrounded by family at Balmoral Castle, and her funeral date, 19 September, was declared shortly after.

As people across the world continue to pay tribute to the late monarch, many have been left wondering whether they'll get a day off to pay their respects – so here's a rundown of all the legal guidelines relating to the bank holiday that you need to know.

King Charles III declared a bank holiday. Credit: Peter Muhly / Alamy Stock Photo
King Charles III declared a bank holiday. Credit: Peter Muhly / Alamy Stock Photo

First things first, does everyone get a day off?

Not exactly, while a national bank holiday might sound like it applies to everyone, official guidance states it's actually down to the discretion of your employer – there's no legal obligation.

So, if you're not sure if the bank holiday applies to you, ask your manager before you make plans.

The full statement, released on the government's website, confirms this: "This is a matter for discussion between individuals and their employer.

"There is no statutory entitlement to time off for bank holidays, but employers may include bank holidays as part of a worker’s leave entitlement.

Many are wondering whether the day off applies to them. Credit: horst friedrichs / Alamy Stock Photo
Many are wondering whether the day off applies to them. Credit: horst friedrichs / Alamy Stock Photo

"The government cannot interfere in existing contractual arrangements between employers and workers."

While that might seem a little disappointing if you'd planned to pay your respects, the officials anticipate that many will be allowed to take the day.

The statement continues: "However, we would expect that many workers will be able to take the day off on the bank holiday.

"We also expect employers to respond sensitively to requests from workers who wish to take the day of the funeral off work."

So, what happens if you are scheduled to work?

Tributes have poured in from around the world. Credit: UrbanImages / Alamy Stock Photo
Tributes have poured in from around the world. Credit: UrbanImages / Alamy Stock Photo

Here you have two options, you can either ask to take the day as annual leave, in which case you would need to speak to your manager. This might seem marginally unfair, especially with those that have kids being pulled out of school for a day off.

However, as employment lawyer Elizabeth McGlone told The Sun, there's not 'a great deal you can do'.

"Workers may be forced to take their existing annual leave to care for children," she said.

The other option is that you work during the bank holiday, but if you were hoping of being paid overtime, think again.

There's actually no legal requirement for your employer to pay you extra.

So, if you've not been told already what your company is planning, speak to your manager, and don't make any plans just yet.

Featured Image Credit: PA Images/Cultura Creative RF/Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: King Charles III, The Queen, UK News

Shola Lee
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