This year, the annual spring bank holiday will take place on Thursday 2 June 2022 instead of the last Monday in May. This will be followed by an extra public holiday on Friday 3 June 2022 to commemorate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.
The additional bank holiday is likely to raise questions for employers as to whether they are required to allow employees an extra day of paid annual leave. In Guernsey, this will ultimately depend on the terms of the employee's contract of employment.
There is no statutory requirement in Guernsey to give employees paid annual leave, enhanced rate of pay or time off in lieu in respect of public and bank holidays. Any provisions in respect of paid annual leave, or public and bank holidays depend on the terms of the employee's contract of employment. Pursuant to the Conditions of Employment (Guernsey) Law 1985, the employee's entitlement (or otherwise) to paid or unpaid holidays and public and bank holidays must be clearly set out in their contract of employment.
If an employee's holiday entitlement provides that they are entitled to bank and public holidays in addition to their annual leave entitlement but does not specify the actual days or a number of them, this will be interpreted that they will be entitled to all bank and public holidays. This will therefore include the Queen's Platinum Jubilee bank holiday in 2022.
If, however, the employee's holiday entitlement specifies the number of days in the wording that refers to the usual bank and public holidays, or the days to be inclusive of their annual leave allowance, then the employer will not be required to provide an additional day of leave for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.
It should, however, be noted that if an employer wishes to provide the bank holiday to commemorate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee, regardless of the wording of the employee's contract of employment, they absolutely can, and it is likely to be appreciated. But employers should be clear when drafting provisions in relation to bank or public holidays.
In other years, additional bank holidays have been given to commemorate events such as the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2011 and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012. Therefore, employers should also consider what they have provided in previous years when such royal events have taken place (ie, whether they provided an additional day of paid annual leave). As a result, employees may consider it to be an implied term of their contract of employment to be given the same for any future additional bank holidays.
With regards to part-time employees, consideration should be given so that they are treated in the same way as full-time employees but with entitlements pro-rated in respect of their working hours.
For further information on this topic please contact Victoria Randall, Rachel DeSanges or Fay Warrilow at Ogier by telephone (+44 1534 514 000) or email ([email protected], [email protected] or [email protected]). The Ogier website can be accessed at www.ogier.com.