Managing bank holidays in 2023 and 2024

2023 is another year in which the UK will see an additional Bank Holiday, this time, in celebration of His Majesty King Charles III Coronation on 8 May.  However, because of how the Bank Holidays fall in 2023, businesses managing holidays between 1 April and 31 March will not see a return to the usual days until the 2025/2026 holiday year.

As this table shows, the first column is straightforward showing that where the holiday year aligns with a calendar year, there is only one additional Bank Holiday.

However, the second column shows that where the holiday year is aligned with a typical financial year, even though one additional Bank Holiday is given this year, in practice, it will result in a further two bank holidays being awarded for the 2023/24 holiday year.

It will be important for employers to consider how they are to manage Bank Holidays between 2023 and 2025 depending upon how they operate the holiday year and what is written within the contract of employment about entitlements to bank holidays and how they are managed.

A failure to comply with what is stated in the contract about how Bank Holidays are managed can lead to breach of contract claims.  A right that is given from day one of employment.

Here are the issues:

  1. If the contract of employment is worded “your entitlement to annual leave is X days including Bank Holidays”, then employees must take additional Bank Holidays out of their normal holiday entitlement if the business decides to close on the day.  The leave would be treated as paid leave, which means for scenario 2 shown below, employees must be paid for two additional days of leave.
  2. If the contract of employment states “your entitlement to annual leave is X days, including 8 Bank Holidays”, there will be no automatic entitlement to a day off for the additional Bank Holiday on 8 May. It will be an operational decision if the business decide to close, and if they do, then it must be treated as paid leave.
  3. For the holiday year that has only 7 bank holidays (April 2024 – March 2025), if the contract of employment states “your entitlement to annual leave is X days, plus 8 Bank Holidays”, they must be awarded an additional day of paid leave. A failure to not give the full 8 days would amount to a breach of contract.
  4. From a budget perspective, for those businesses that do operate a holiday year between April and March, then for 2023-2024, they must consider that 10 days of paid leave must be given.
 Holiday years


Scenario 1

1 January – 31 December 2023

Scenario 2

1 April 2023 – 31 March 2024

Scenario 3

1 April 2024 – 31 March 2025

Scenario 4

1 April 2025 – 31 March 2026

2 January 7 April (Easter) 1 April (Easter) 18 April (Easter)
7 April (Easter) 10 April (Easter) 6 May 21 April (Easter)
10 April (Easter) 1 May 27 May 5 May
1 May 8 May (Coronation) 26 August 26 May
8 May (Coronation) 29 May 25 December 25 August
29 May 28 August 26 December 25 December
28 August 25 December 1 January 26 December
25 December 26 December 1 January
26 December 1 January
29 March (Easter)
9 Bank/Public Days 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.

We are here to help

If you would like to speak to a member of our team, or you are considering outsourcing your Health and Safety, Payroll, or HR, you can contact us on 0844 324 5840 or get in touch with us here.




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