Does the bank holiday for the Queen’s funeral mean time off work?
Published 12 September 2022
As the country continues to mourn the death of Queen Elizabeth II it has already had an impact on the world of work and will continue to do so in the coming days.
On 8 September, the UK's longest-serving monarch, died at Balmoral aged 96, after reigning for 70 years [1 cited 12.9.22]
Her son King Charles III is reported to have said the death of his beloved mother was a "moment of great sadness" for him and his family and that her loss would be "deeply felt" around the world.
The Queen's death has triggered a 10-day period of national mourning, which include all of the preparations for a state funeral [2 cited 12.9.22]
During the period of mourning, Union Jacks will be flown at half-mast and books of condolence will be open.
The government has announced that Her Majesty’s funeral will be at 11am on Monday, September 19 [3 cited 12.9.22]
The day has been designated as a bank holiday for the whole of the UK.
It will mean many businesses will close for the day and that employees could be given the day off work.
However, there is no guarantee everyone will get the day off to pay their respects to Her Majesty.
This bank holiday will operate in the same way as other bank holidays, and there is no statutory entitlement to time off [4 cited 12.6.22].
For employees required to work on bank holidays there is also no statutory right to extra pay, for example time and a half or double time. Any right to extra pay will depend on the terms of the contract of employment.
Those required to work on the forthcoming bank holiday may be offered another day’s holiday. Days in lieu are determined by each individual employer [5 cited 12.9.22]
The government has said it cannot interfere in existing contractual arrangements between employers and workers
It has not yet been confirmed if the coronation of King Charles III will also be declared a bank holiday, although it is expected that it will be [6 cited 12.9.22]
It is highly likely most schools will remain closed on 19 September, which could cause problems for working parents.
Employees with caring responsibilities for children may be hoping they can get the day off to look after their little ones, and also remember Her Majesty. In such circumstances an employer should fairly consider any request for the time off.
An employee is allowed time off to care for a dependant. Reasonable consideration should always be given to any request from a working parent for time off to look after a child, in any circumstances.
As schools have not been officially asked to stay closed on the day, it is possible that some may open in a limited capacity to look after children whose parents have to be at work.
Although there was no requirement for businesses to close following the death of the Queen, many workplaces and tourist attractions took the decision to shut as a sign of respect. [6 cited 12.9.22]
Retailers Liberty, French Connection and Selfridges closed their stores
END Clothing shut up shop in London, Newcastle, Glasgow and Manchester. Footwear and handbag chain Russell & Bromley announced all its stores would remain closed
Both the William Hill and Betfred betting agencies closed their doors. While The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has taken the decision to close all of its shops until after the Queen's funeral.
In such circumstances an employee who has a contract of employment with an employer who has opted to close as a sign of respect, should expect to receive their normal pay.
In England and Wales, there are usually eight bank holidays every year, while in Scotland there are nine and in Northern Ireland there are 10.
The Royal family can add extra bank holidays, which happened earlier this year to mark the Queen's Jubilee, and 70 years since she first became the country's monarch.