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Jubilee Bank Holiday – Are businesses obliged to give it?

An additional bank holiday has been announced to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. This will take place on Friday 3 June 2022 elongating that weekend as the Spring Bank holiday (that normally occurs on the last Monday in May) has been moved to Thursday 2 June 2022.

We have set out the legal position for employers who are unsure whether they are legally obliged to provide employees with this additional day’s holiday.

Legal basis

Employees are legally entitled to a minimum of 28 days holiday each year.

In Northern Ireland there are 10 public / bank holidays which in 2021 and 2022 fall on the following dates:

  2021 2022
New Year’s Day Fri 1 January Mon 3 January
St Patrick’s Day Wed 17 March Thu 17 March
Good Friday Fri 2 April Fri 15 April
Easter Monday Mon 5 Apr Mon 18 April
May Day Bank Holiday Mon 3 May Mon 2 May
Spring Bank Holiday Mon 31 May Thu 2 June
Battle of the Boyne / Orangemen’s Day Mon 12 July Tue 12 July
Summer Bank Holiday Mon 30 August Mon 29 August
Christmas Day Mon 27 December Mon 26 December
Boxing Day Tue 28 December Tue 27 December


Employees have no statutory entitlement to a public or bank holiday as long as they receive a minimum of 28 days leave each year and generally, the documentation issued to employees (such as contract of employment / statement of particulars) will specify if holiday entitlement is inclusive or exclusive of public / bank holidays.

Therefore, any right to this extra bank holiday will depend on the terms of this documentation.

For example, if the contract of employment / statement of particulars states:

“You are entitled to 28 days holiday each year which includes the 10 public / bank holidays listed below…”

This means that these employees are not entitled to the additional Jubilee Bank holiday. Indeed, we anticipate that most of our Members’ contracts of employment / relevant policies will not confer a right to this additional Jubilee bank holiday.

However, even if there is no contractual entitlement to this extra day bank holiday employers may choose, as a gesture of goodwill, to allow employees to take the additional day’s leave. If employers choose to give the additional day, it is important that in any communication it is made clear to employees that this is a discretionary one-off entitlement.


The position in respect of pay is similar. Employees have no legal entitlement to an enhanced rate of pay for working a bank holiday unless provided for in their contract of employment or if it has been established through custom and practice.