A Shropshire employment lawyer has warned that holiday pay for the additional Coronation bank holiday on 8 May is set to give employers a serious headache.
Sally Morris, partner and head of employment at mfg Solicitors, said that the long weekend is intended to give the nation the chance to take part in community events, but by falling in the same month as two existing bank holidays, employers across the county could face a month of disruption.
Ms Morris said: “Holiday pay can be a real minefield for employers, whether that’s working out entitlement for part-time workers, deciding if they should include bank holidays as part of an annual leave package, or offering the days as extras.
“However, with the Coronation nearly upon us, it’s clear that many companies are struggling to find solutions as there can often be different contractual arrangements for specific employees.
“Any entitlement to bank holidays will be subject to individual employment contracts, and there are many different ways they may be worded, just as long as the basic requirement for paid holiday is satisfied.
“Essentially, if businesses here in Shropshire need people to work on the Coronation bank holiday, but they are entitled to take the day off according to their contract, then this would require a change to their contract. But employees must give their consent for the change to be made.
“HR teams have very little time to put things right so my advice is to get input from an expert before it builds into a much wider HR issue over the long-term.
“The Coronation is a huge celebration for the country but there’s no getting away from the fact that the event, and the additional bank holiday, is creating grounds for potential discord between organisations and their staff over the royal date.”
An employee working a five-day week must be given 28 days of paid annual leave a year, the equivalent of 5.6 weeks of holiday. For those working part-time or irregular hours, the calculation is made pro-rata.
mfg Solicitors has offices in Birmingham, Kidderminster, Worcester, Bromsgrove, Ludlow and Telford.