If your contract defines a bank holiday as any date specified under the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971 (the "Act") you should note the following:
- Easter Monday, the last Mondays in May and August, 26th December (if it is not a Sunday) and 27th December (in any year in which 25th or 26th December is a Sunday) are all bank holidays in England and Wales under the Act.
- The Queen can, by proclamation, appoint an additional special day as a bank holiday and can alter any of the above dates. This is done by Royal proclamation which is published in the London Gazette.
- May Day is not listed in the Act (but is proclaimed as a bank holiday in the London Gazette every year).
- There will be an extra bank holiday in June 2012 to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. The late May bank holiday will be moved to Monday 4 June. The Royal proclamation under the Act was published in June 2011, making Tuesday 5 June 2012 an extra bank holiday in England and Wales.
This could affect the service of notices, time periods for litigation and adjudication, building programme dates and labour. It’s a good idea to start planning for this now!