April HR Update

Whether it’s the right to a day off, double pay, or time off in lieu there are a number of common misconceptions when it comes to bank holiday working. As we approach the Easter weekend, let’s get some things ironed out.

Also, latest employment tribunal statistics and case law - automatic unfair dismissal.

Employees often think they have an automatic right to time off work on a bank holiday, however this is not the case. You can decide for yourself whether time off is given in their contract of employment. You will need to give staff time off in lieu (TOIL) for working a bank holiday if you only offer them the minimum 5.6 weeks of annual leave.

You are not required to pay an enhanced rate for bank holiday working but employees must still get their contractual pay or the NMW.

Booking bank holidays off needs to be in line with your annual leave policy. Remember that you can still refuse a request if there is a business need for the employee to work.

Whilst staff may claim that making them work on Good Friday and Easter Monday is indirect religious discrimination, you will be able to justify your decision if you can prove that bank holiday working is a necessary way of meeting your business aims.  

Over 38,700 single claims received by employment tribunals in 2018

The latest set of employment tribunal statistics have been revealed for the period between Oct-Dec 2018. The number of single claims increased by 23% when compared with the same time last year, showing that workers are continuing to enforce their rights and challenge organisations at tribunal. 

Case Law

In Spaceman v ISS Mediclean Ltd the Employment Appeal Tribunal confirmed that automatic unfair dismissal will only apply if the employee can show there has been an infringement of their statutory rights, not just that the employer could or is likely to do this.

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