Dealing with time off over Christmas

This year, Christmas Day (25 December 2016) falls on a Sunday, and Boxing day (26 December 2016) falls on a Monday, which means the two bank holidays for these days will be 26 and 27 December. But what if your PA wants to take time off on those bank holidays? Are you clear on the rules?

Contrary to popular belief you do not legally have to give staff paid time off for bank holidays (unless their contract provides for this). However, your PA may choose to take the bank holidays off as part of their statutory 5.6 weeks holiday entitlement (or pro rata amount) which will then reduce their remaining annual leave entitlement accordingly.

If they do decide to take one or both of the days as annual leave, then they should be paid the same rate for these days as they are normally paid in their job. The payment will be due at the same time as your employee’s normal wages (e.g. weekly/monthly) and will be treated as earnings for PAYE tax and NIC purposes.

On the other hand, your employee may be happy to work.  A common myth is that there is a right to extra pay for working on bank holidays – for example “time and a half” or double pay. This is incorrect -this would only be the case if their contract provides for this.

You can find out more about holiday pay in our website.