The Early May Bank Holiday which is usually held on a Monday will, for this year only, be moved back by four days to Friday 8 May 2020.
This means that, unlike previous years where there has been an additional bank holiday added (such as the Queen’s Jubilee), there will be the same amount of bank holiday days in 2020, but the first May Bank holiday will simply occur on a different day. This will apply to the whole of the UK to honour the 75th anniversary of VE Day.
VE Day celebrates the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany to the Allied forces in Europe in 1945, ending World War II.
So, why does this matter? For most full-time employees and employers, there shouldn’t be a significant difference to anyone and it shouldn’t be too difficult to implement. But, here at Thrive, there are just a few things we think you should think about:
- Communication – its important to make sure all employees are aware of the change! You should send an email round or set up a staff meeting as soon as possible; you wouldn’t want employees to make plans based on a Monday off or failing to turn up when expected on the Monday! The earlier you send an email around, the sooner you can deal with any queries which might arise, and the less an employee can rely on not knowing.
- The biggest change may affect part-time employees, and employees with irregular working patterns. You’ll need to review each part-time employee’s arrangements, to ensure that they’ll be paid appropriately and ensure they know what holiday entitlement they will have after the Friday day off.
- The change wasn’t announced until last June, after which date most calendars and diaries had already been printed. Around 30 million calendars were printed without the correct dates for the bank holiday.With this in mind, those who were unaware of the changes may have already made their holiday arrangements for 2020, and done so with the assumption of the original Monday off. Those employees may face having to book further time off (which they may not even be entitled to if they have exhausted their entitlement) or be at risk of having to cancel plans. Where employees may have had prepaid holidays booked over this period, they may even be at risk of having to pay extra charges to change and rearrange dates.
It’s up to you, as the employer, how kind you might want to be in these circumstances. We’ve heard of some employers just simplifying matters, and giving all their employees both and Monday and the Friday off. For some organisations, though, that simply won’t be possible. There is always the option of allowing unpaid leave, where an employee might have exhausted their holiday.
This is the first change to a bank holiday (where there hasn’t been a new one introduced) since 1995, and its difficult to deny that it has caused a little organisational confusion. But, if you follow our three tips above, you should have no unexpected issues arising.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us here at Thrive, and we’ll happily discuss the change and how it might affect your specific circumstances.
By the Thrive Tribe