Q&As

Can bank holidays count towards the first 20 days of an employee's holiday entitlement?

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Published on LexisPSL on 08/09/2016

The following Employment Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Can bank holidays count towards the first 20 days of an employee's holiday entitlement?
  • Bank holidays and public holidays
  • Rights under the Working Time Regulations 1998

The answer to this question requires looking at what constitutes a bank, and/or public, holiday and also considering the statutory position under the Working Time Regulations 1998 ('WTR 1998') and the contractual position.

Bank holidays and public holidays

Bank holidays in England and Wales are:

  1. Easter Monday

  2. the first Monday in May (proclaimed a bank holiday since 1978)

  3. the last Monday in May

  4. the last Monday in August

  5. 26 December (Boxing Day), if it is not a Sunday

  6. 27 December, if either Christmas Day or Boxing Day falls on a Sunday in that year

  7. New Year's Day or, as appropriate, 2 January (proclaimed a bank holiday since 1974)

  8. any other day proclaimed as bank holiday (either in place of one above, or in addition)

In Scotland, the bank holidays are:

  1. New Year's Day (or on a year in which New Year's Day falls on a Sunday, 3 January)

  2. 2 January (or on a year in which 2 January falls on a Sunday, 3 January)

  3. Good Friday

  4. the first Monday in May

  5. the last Monday in May (proclaimed an additional bank holiday since 1987)

  6. the first Monday in August

  7. St Andrew's Day (30 November), if it is not a Saturday or Sunday or, if it is a Saturday or Sunday, the first Monday following that day

  8. Christmas Day (or in a year in which Christmas Day falls on

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