Will your team be working over Jubilee weekend?

A four day weekend lies ahead to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee – or does it? Lawyers are advising dental team members not to be too jubilant until they are sure that they really are entitled to the additional holiday. The Spring bank holiday has been moved to Monday June 4 and there is an additional bank holiday on Tuesday June 5, to mark the Jubilee. But June 5 could be just another day in the practice.

In the same debate that surrounded last year’s Royal wedding, the tabloids have already stepped up the campaign for employers to grant their staff the day off to celebrate, but in many cases, employers are being advised that they are not obliged to do so.

Amanda Maskery, a Lawyer and a member of NASDAL, has shed some light on the matter. It is a common misconception, she said, that employees are entitled to time off work for bank holidays. Usually, employees are simply entitled to the statutory minimum number of holidays, currently 5.6 weeks (or 28 days) a year.

She suggests that the starting point is to look at the contract of employment for guidance. Where the contract states that an employee is entitled to public holidays in addition to their annual leave, but neither the number nor the specific dates are referred to, they will be entitled to an additional day’s holiday. That said, if the employer has the contractual right to grant a day off in lieu of a bank holiday, an employee may still be required to work on 5th June, and their extra day’s holiday can be postponed.

Where the contract specifies a total number of days' holiday that includes bank holidays, or where it states either the number or the specific bank holidays that may be taken, then the employee will not be entitled to an additional day's holiday.

Amanda has warned that employers should also consider their custom and practice when taking a decision on whether to grant an extra day off. She adds: 'Employers should be aware that their employees may have an implied right to the extra holiday by virtue of the employer previously granting time off in similar circumstances. Given that the situation does not arise very often, the likelihood is small, but in the shadow of the Royal wedding, there is clearly the potential for a custom and practice argument.’

Amanda suggests that employers would be wise to consider any potential staffing issues now and consult their employees’ contracts of employment, together with holiday policies, so their staff know whether or not they will have a four day weekend.

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Catherine Morphet
Hi, Im sorry, but I probably represent many self employed dentists out there. yes, its great to be "grante d" a holiday, employed staff love it... an extra day off work, and a paid one at that too... who would complain? not even me!!
However, the extra "holida y" has to be funded by the practice,and therefore the associate dentists, not the Queen, who has granted the holiday, similar to the granting of the extra holiday last year for the Royal wedding..
And the Asociates just have to take the day as "unpaid holiday".
I would willingly provide my normal service on the Tuesday, but unable to do so due to the Queen granting the extra day for us to celebrate the Jubilee with her.Does she realise that the self employed section of the communities are taking the enforced day off without pay? I seriously suspect not.. And bearing this in mind, has she considered how much extra it will cost PCTs etc to provide emergency dental provision during this celebratory time?
My hands are tied, I can't work even if I want to,the surgery will be closed..I very much doubt if the Queen quite realises the effect that this "holida y" really has..

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