NEWS & RESOURCES

Fewer Bank Holidays in 2024-2025: Manage The Risk of a Shortfall in Holiday Entitlement

Employers operating a holiday year from 1 April to 31 March face a unique challenge this year, as there will be only seven bank and public holidays, compared with the usual eight. This shift follows a year that included ten bank holidays, including a special day for the Coronation of King Charles. For those aligning their holiday year with the fiscal year, a return to the normal number of bank holidays is expected only in the 2025/2026 leave period.

The Impact of Fewer Bank Holidays in 2024 on Employment Contracts

As there will be fewer Bank Holidays in 2024, it is particularly important for these employers to consider how they will manage the situation in respect of the potential shortfall. They must ensure that workers are not given fewer holidays than to which they are entitled.

All workers are entitled to the statutory minimum entitlement of 5.6 weeks paid annual leave in each year. This equates to 28 days for a regular full-time worker and part time workers are entitled to a pro-rata equivalent.

A failure to provide this minimum entitlement could result in a claim for a breach of the Working Time Regulations. Furthermore, depending on how the contract of employment is worded, there is also a risk that not providing enough holiday could result in a breach of contract.

Adjusting Annual Leave Policies for 2024

Employer strategies for adjusting leave in response to the reduced Bank Holidays in 2024 will depend largely on the language used in employment contracts regarding holiday entitlements.

Here are two examples to demonstrate:

  • If the contract states: “your entitlement to paid annual leave is 20 days, plus bank holidays” then the worker would need to be given an extra day of annual leave this year (or a pro-rata equivalent for part-time workers) to make sure they receive the 28 days minimum.
  • If the contract states: “your entitlement to paid annual leave is 28 days including bank holidays” then the worker would not need to be given extra annual leave, as they are already getting the correct number of days.

Statutory Rights and Employer Discretion

Remember that there is no statutory entitlement to take paid time off on a named bank or public holiday. This means that if you normally require workers to take paid time off on the designated bank holidays, then this year there will be an extra day’s worth of leave (or equivalent for part time staff) where workers will be able to request the time off whenever they choose throughout the year, just as they normally would in line with your policies and procedures.

Holiday Years

Last year This year Next year
1 April 2023 – 31 March 2024 1 April 2024 – 31 March 2025 1 April 2025 – 31 March 2026
7 April (Easter) 1 April (Easter) 18 April (Easter)
10 April (Easter) 6 May 21 April (Easter)
1 May 27 May 5 May
8 May (Coronation) 26 August 26 May
29 May 25 December 25 August
28 August 26 December 25 December
25 December 1 January 26 December
26 December 1 January
1 January
29 March (Easter)
10 Bank/Public Days 7 Bank/Public Days 8 Bank/Public Days

Supporting Documents

Our HR Document Shop is full of helpful guides and policies to support businesses and ensure that they are equipped with the tools required for continued success.

Our Holiday Pay and Entitlement Calculator will save you valuable time to determine the correct holiday pay and entitlement for your employees, particularly those with part-time or no regular hours/patterns of work.

The calculator can also be used to calculate holiday entitlement for those working under zero hours contracts, casual worker agreements, or various forms of part-time hours.

For more information on how you can use our Holiday Pay and Entitlement Calculator, you can read a previous article which covers this area in depth, here.

You can download your calculator from our HR Document Shop, here.

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