Change To May Day Bank Holiday In 2020

Due to the 75th anniversary of VE day in 2020, the Government have announced an important nationwide change to Bank Holidays next year.

As we all know, May Day is usually the first Monday in May; but in 2020, it will be replaced instead by a public holiday on Friday 8 May to coincide with the planned celebrations for the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

The change to May Day 2020 may have implications for your business depending on whether you employ part-time staff and/or open on a Bank Holiday.

There is no need to re-calculate full-time holiday entitlements any differently in 2020. The change will, however, potentially affect part-time workers or employees with irregular working hours as Bank Holidays are treated as part of their annual leave entitlement.

Part-time employees who don’t normally work Fridays will benefit from a hypothetical increase in holiday entitlement, as they won’t need to book any time off, but those who normally have Mondays off (but work Fridays) will see a hypothetical reduction in their holiday entitlement.

Employees working different hours each day could also be impacted depending on whether they do more or less hours on the Monday or Friday.

You may also have employees who already have events planned for 4 May next year and might be hoping to take time off for weddings/holidays etc., not realising the change to the Bank Holiday date. For that reason, we recommend you plan for this by ensuring that staff are aware of the change early so that potential problems can be avoided.

It is also worth remembering that when considering holiday requests, you must not show favouritism or discriminate in any way, and it is vitally important to always be consistent.

Bank Holidays and a brief summary of your legal obligations:

  • employers must provide a minimum of 5.6 weeks of leave per year, which equals 28 days per year for full time employees, inclusive of the eight normal Bank Holidays
  • there is no contractual right to take Bank Holidays off work, as long as the overall holiday entitlement provided still equals no less than the statutory minimum of 28 days per year, or no less than their contractual entitlement
  • part-time employees are entitled to accrue holiday on a pro-rata basis – this means that they should receive an equal amount of holiday to that received by full time employees
  • part-time employees or those working irregular hours must receive a pro-rata entitlement of the Bank Holiday at the correct rate.

If you have any questions on an employment matter, please contact Andrew Macmillan or call him on 01803 403403.

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