Working on Bank Holidays - What Are My Rights?

Julian cole portrait.

Julian Cole

Senior Solicitor

Phone 01264 353411


The Bank Holidays in England and Wales have been provided for in statutes since 1971 and are the following:-

  • Easter Monday
  • First Monday in May
  • Last Monday in May
  • Last Monday in August
  • 26th December (Boxing Day) if it is not a Sunday
  • 27th December if either Christmas Day or Boxing Day falls on a Sunday that year
  • New Year’s Day or as appropriate 2nd January
  • And any other day proclaimed a Bank Holiday

Despite these days being provided for as Bank Holidays by the Act of Parliament, there is no statutory right to take Bank Holidays as paid annual leave. An employee’s right to take leave on a Bank Holiday would be governed either by the express or implied terms of the employee’s Contract of Employment. For example, the Contract of Employment will often state that you have the right to take so many days’ holiday plus Bank Holidays and Public Holidays.

In certain business sectors, the employer will require their employees to work some or all Bank Holidays and Public Holidays.  An example of this will be the travel sector, where those employees are expected to work Bank Holidays and Public Holidays in the summer months.

 If the employee’s contracts allow him/her to take Public Holiday as paid leave this may then count towards their statutory leave.

 If the employee’s rights are not met the employee will have the right to enforce their rights through the Employment Tribunal such as a claim for non-payment of holiday pay and also for an unlawful deduction from their wages.

Should you require any further information in respect of rights in relation to holiday pay and in particular your right to take paid leave on Bank Holidays, please contact our Litigation Solicitor, Julian Cole on 01264 325805, email: or complete our no-obligation contact form on our website.  

Go back

Expert Legal Support For All Your Legal Needs

Find out more about how we can help you in your circumstances by contacting us. You can call us on 01264 353411email us at or complete our online enquiry form.