Sandy Green of The HR Dept has kindly shared this update on the public holiday on 19 September, for The Queen’s Funeral, and your responsibilities as an employer.
We all want to do the right thing, but it is useful to have this guidance. Here are the official arrangements from the Royal family.
Many of you will be asking the question regarding what the situation regarding the upcoming additional Public Holiday is, which has been declared in order to acknowledge the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.
To answer that, the situation is the same as for the Jubilee earlier this year.
It depends on your employment contracts.
For those contracts which say “you are entitled to 20 days annual leave and all public holidays”:
then you have to give staff the holiday and it must be paid.
If your employment contracts are specific and say, “you are entitled to 20 days annual leave and 8 public holidays” (5.6 weeks annual leave):
you do not have to give it to your staff if you are planning to be open on that day.
In this case, if any of your staff members request the day off, then they must take it from their annual leave entitlement if they wish it to be paid, if not, then it is unpaid.
If however, you as a company have chosen to close down:
then legally, you are obliged to pay your staff for that day – as they may well have not wanted to be off work, and by closing down, you have stopped them from having work to do.
If you are unable to close down operationally:
this is something which you may wish to consider for your company,. You could consider offering the day to do training, or a spring cleaning and staff should come to work.
If staff wish to have the day off out of respect for the late Queen, then they must take it as annual leave, or unpaid.
Whatever your situation, it is important to treat individual choices with respect and empathy.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.