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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. May Day is not listed in the Act (but is proclaimed as a bank holiday in the London Gazette every year).
  4. 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!