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How to handle 2022’s new bank holiday chaos

UK staff are getting an extra bank holiday this year for a very special reason. Read on to find out how the extra day off will impact your business...

Wednesday, Mar 16, 2022
2 min read

Normally, Irish staff get one day off for St Patrick’s Day on 17th March.

But this year is a little different. On Friday 18th March we’re getting an extra bank holiday to recognise the efforts of the general public, volunteers, and all workers during the pandemic.

How the date move affects your business

Because an extra bank holiday is being added this year, your employees’ public holiday entitlement could easily be affected...

Whether your staff get bank holidays off work or not could depend on what you’ve already agreed in their employee contracts.

So, this year it’s extra important that you check the wording...

Are your staff entitled to the extra Bank Holiday?

In short, yes. You have a statutory obligation to pay all full-time employees on bank holidays.

If a public holiday falls on a Sunday, you have the legal right to transfer the holiday to the next working weekday. You can also substitute a day of public holiday with the Church holiday that falls immediately before or after the public holiday, with the right notice.

However, there are some employees that don’t automatically get payment for public holidays:

  • Part-timers who don’t work 40 hours in the previous five weeks.

  • Employees that have been absent for over 52 weeks due to occupational illness of injury.

  • Employees absent for more than 26 weeks due to non-occupational illness or injury.

  • Employees absent because they’re striking

  • Employees on a period of lay-off that exceeds 13 weeks.

  • Employee absent on health & safety leave.

How to renumerate your staff for the public holiday is up to you!

You could pay them for the day off, give them a different paid day off within one month, an extra day’s annual leave, or an extra day’s pay.

Whatever your decision, make sure you have a policy in place and everyone is treated equally. If not, you could be face claims of unfair treatment from your staff.

There are also a couple of things to think about when it comes to your staff booking their annual leave, too…

Staff may need to amend holidays

If your employees have already requested time off on the new, bank holiday date, they might need to amend this now that an extra bank holiday has been added.

For example, if an employee has booked leave for Friday 18th March, they might need to cancel it if they now get the day off as part of their public holiday entitlement.

How our smart software helps you

Our BrightHR software makes managing 2022’s extra bank holiday confusion a doddle. You don’t need to do a thing, because the software automatically corrects the date for you on the system.

It also flags any annual leave booked for booked for either Thursday 17th March or Friday 18th March on all fixed employees’ profiles, so they can book or cancel any holiday requests accordingly.

Need help nailing your annual leave policy?

Having a watertight annual leave policy is essential. It doesn’t just save you time when it comes to fairly divvying up your staff’s annual leave, it also protects you and your business from damaging legal claims against you.

So don’t risk it—we’ve got a free annual leave policy for you. It’s crafted by HR experts and ready to be used across your business, but can also act as a great jumping off point if you prefer.

So get a head start on the hectic year of holidays. Click the banner below to download your free annual leave policy today:


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