When you are the owner of a company, you need to know all of the 2023 Bank Holidays in the UK, including the extra bank holiday for this year. You also need to be familiar with all UK employment laws relating to public holidays. This will help you understand whether your employees are entitled to time off on bank holidays and if they should be paid.
This article covers the upcoming UK bank holidays in 2023 (including the extra one) for all regions of the country. It helps your people team to better memorise the dates and the number of UK bank holidays there are in 2023.
We will look at statutory holiday rights for your employees, the rights of part-time workers, and bank holiday pay. You will also learn how our HR software can help you manage your employee’s holidays and absences effectively.
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Bank Holidays UK 2023
In the United Kingdom and Ireland, bank holidays are public and/or religious holidays. Banks and other businesses close on specific days to celebrate or mark an occasion, although these days restaurants, pubs and shops tend to remain open.
Bank holidays were first introduced by the Bank Holidays Act of 1871. They were named bank holidays because banks would traditionally close on these days. As other companies were dependent on the banks to conduct their business, they would close too, rendering the day an official national holiday.
How Many Bank Holidays in the UK in 2023 Are There?
There are 8 permanent UK bank holidays each year. And for 2023, there is one extra bank holiday:
- New Year’s Day
- Good Friday
- Easter Monday
- May Day
- Spring Bank Holiday
- King’s Coronation Day (The Extra Bank Holiday in 2023)
- Summer Bank Holiday
- Christmas Day
- Boxing Day
If a bank holiday in the UK is on a weekend, a ‘substitute’ weekday becomes a bank holiday, normally the following Monday.
Bank Holidays 2023 in England and Wales
In 2023, there are nine bank holidays in England and Wales:
Bank Holidays 2023 in Scotland
In Scotland, there are 10 bank holidays in total for 2023. The extra bank holiday is on November 30th for St Andrew’s Day. Scotland also celebrates its summer bank holiday on Aug 7th this year, instead of at the end of the month. Additionally, Easter Monday is not a bank holiday in Scotland.
Bank Holidays 2023 in Northern Ireland
In Northern Ireland, there are two extra bank holidays in 2023, which makes them a total of 11 holidays throughout the year. Those are on March 17th for St Patrick’s Day and July 12th for The Battle of the Boyne.
Employee Statutory Rights
According to UK employment law, almost all workers are legally entitled to 5.6 weeks of paid holiday a year (which is also known as statutory leave entitlement or annual leave). This includes agency workers, workers with irregular hours, and workers on zero-hour contracts.
When we say “almost all workers”, we mean people who belong to one of these groups of workers:
- workers who have a contract (or another arrangement) to do work or services personally for a reward
- the reward is for money or a benefit in kind, for example, the promise of a contract or future work
- workers who have a limited right to send someone else to do the work (subcontract)
- their employer has to have work for them to do as long as the contract or arrangement lasts
- workers who are not doing the work as part of their own limited company in an arrangement where the ‘employer’ is actually a customer or client
In line with the Working Time Regulations 1998, statutory minimum leave rights changed in 2009, rising from 4 to 5.6 weeks. Most employees who work for five days per week must receive at least 28 days’ paid annual leave a year, plus the standard 8 UK bank holidays. This is the equivalent of 5.6 weeks of holiday. Part-time workers are entitled to at least 5.6 weeks of paid holiday, but this will amount to fewer than 28 days.
However, employees have no bank holiday statutory rights. Bank or public holidays don’t have to be given as paid leave. Employers can choose whether or not to include the UK bank holidays 2023 as part of an employee’s statutory annual leave, or they may choose to offer them unpaid time off.
According to Section 1 of the Employment Rights Act 1996, offering time off for bank holidays to your workers will depend on your employee’s terms of employment.
It is considered a breach of contract when companies and employers fail to comply with the terms of an employee’s contract. Employees who resign due to this can file a claim for constructive unfair dismissal, especially if they have been employed for one year or more (two years where the employment began on or after 6 April 2012).
Part-Time Workers and Bank Holidays
When it comes to bank holiday entitlements, it is crucial to know that part-time workers also have the same rights as full-time employees. According to the Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000, part-time employees are entitled to the same terms as full-time workers, but on a pro-rata basis.
If you want to protect yourself and your company from any potential claims of unfair treatment, you need to follow the UK government’s advice on offering a prorated allowance of paid bank holidays to your part-time workers, regardless of whether they work on a bank holiday or not.
Working on a Bank Holiday in the UK
Employers can require their employees to work on one of the UK bank holidays in 2023, as long as their request is in line with the terms of their employment. In such a situation, employees cannot refuse to work. However, employers should be aware of the following:
- If employers refuse to grant religious employees time off for any of the bank holidays with religious significance, this could mean indirect religious discrimination.
- There is no requirement for employers to allow additional time off in lieu of employees who practise religions other than Christianity as this could be interpreted as unlawful direct discrimination. Instead, employees should use their annual holiday allowance.
- Employers need to know their obligations under the Equality Act 2010, which protects workers against direct and indirect discrimination.
Is It Double Pay on Bank Holidays?
Employees have no statutory right to extra bank holiday pay. Bank holidays are included in the employee’s annual holiday leave. Any additional payments will depend on the terms of their employment contract.
Note that the workers in essential services such as police, fire, or ambulance, as well as the healthcare workers usually receive extra pay for working on these days.
Is There an Extra UK Bank Holiday in 2023?
Yes, there is an extra bank holiday in 2023 for King’s Coronation Day. His Majesty King Charles III will be coronated on the 6th of May (Saturday) and the bank holiday will fall on the following Monday (May 8th).
Factorial HR: Employee Holiday Management Software
Once you have established all rights and obligations relating to the upcoming 2023 UK bank holidays, employers need to determine how they will manage the holidays and absences. The best solution for this is to use holiday and absence software to keep track of the employees’ time off.
With Factorials’ annual leave management software solution, you can:
- Centralise and automate absence requests.
- Get updated and available information at all times.
- Accept or deny time-off requests in one click.
- Check the number of holidays remaining for each employee.
- Create charts for the used days and the total available days.
- Gain visibility of all absences at a glance.
- Check the available human resources of each team.
- Define the number of holidays employees can carry over from one year to the next.
- Create and customise as many leave types as you need.
- Download annual and monthly summaries of your employees’ absences.
- Allow your employees to request and manage holidays from their mobile.
- Track your company’s time off with custom reports.
- Track all your employees’ leaves and holidays from your personal calendar.
- Create recurring cycles and carry over unused time off.