The King’s Coronation and Extra Bank Holiday

The Coronation of King Charles III is to take place on May 6, 2023, with the UK given an extra Bank Holiday on Monday, May 8.

HR Initiatives Limited

There are several considerations for employers for both the day of the King’s coronation and additional bank holiday.

The Legal Position

Any entitlement on the day and to bank holidays will be governed, in large part, by the terms of the contract of employment.  

There are no statutory entitlement to have bank holidays off work, where there are no written terms those rights may be agreed verbally.

The Coronation

Issues employers should consider on the day of the coronation:

  • With the coronation taking place on Saturday, if your business is normally open on the weekend, there is no requirement for it to close, this is a discretionary business decision.  Employees are contractually required to work if it is their normal working day or on rotation basis.
  • Your employees should be paid the normal salary rate unless you have contractual clauses which allows for extra pay for employees working a normal working day on these occasions. For employees who do not normally work on a Saturday, ensure you check their contracts for any extra payment provisions.
  • Employee are not automatically entitled to the day off on the day of the coronation as it is not a bank holiday and should be treated as a normal working day, if your business operated on the weekend.  Requests for leave should be treated as normal in-line with the company policy on annual leave  
  • Celebrating the King’s coronation in the workplace or allowing some flexibility around the operations of the day to allow employees to view the ceremony is another discretionary decision, however should be considered for employee morale.

The Bank Holiday

The additional bank holiday granted should be treated the same the other statutory bank holidays, the following issues should be considered:

  • Contractual entitlement to the bank holiday will be dependant on the wording within the contract. If a contract says employees are entitled to time off on “8 public/bank holidays” per year and lists those days, there is no automatic entitlement to time off on the extra Bank Holiday. If the contract says employees are entitled to paid leave on “all public/bank holidays” in a leave year, they will have a contractual entitlement to the extra day.  Where contracts do not entitle employees to the day off, employers can discretionally choose to offer it as a paid day of leave anyway.
  • Part-time employees entitlement to the extra bank will also be depends on the wording of their employment contract as described above on prorated basis.  If their pattern of working days mean that they wouldn’t be working on the bank holiday, then their holiday entitlement should be adjusted to take the extra day into account on a pro-rata basis which will help to avoid the risk of a claim for less favourable treatment of part-time workers.

Final thought

For many, this will be the first coronation witnessed following the long reign of Queen Elizabeth II, and therefore a historic and significant event that many employees will be looking forward.  A reasonable approach around the handling of the holiday would help to ensure employees’ goodwill and morale is retained.  This is particularly important within the current labour market and employee retention challenges many businesses are facing.

Next Steps

If you have any questions, or would like support with any of the above, then please do get in touch with our partners HR Initiatives Limited.

Emma Williams – Managing Director, HR Initiatives Limited

HR Initiatives provides expert HR advice to SME businesses. The team of HR professionals have extensive experience in HR management and help businesses navigate a safe path through the minefield of HR.

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