Easter dates to affect holiday entitlement

Will you be affected by this annual leave anomaly?

If you are a business owner or HR manager you will need to be aware of an unusual annual leave situation that could affect you within the next 12 months.

In essence, if you have any staff that start their annual leave from 1st April, the situation will affect you.

That is because Easter Sunday 2015 was on April 5th and Easter Sunday 2016 is on March 27th. In other words, your staff will actually get two Easter breaks within their 12 months of annual leave.

Your contract of employment should state your employees’ holiday entitlement including the usual 8 Statutory and Bank Holidays that take place each year.

If this is the wording used within your Company’s contract and your company closes on both Good Friday and Easter Monday, you will need to make it clear to staff that they will need to use two days of their normal annual leave to cover them for Easter 2016.

However if the contract states that an employee is entitled to “20 days’ holiday plus bank holidays” then a failure to honour a contractual clause would result in the employer being in breach of contract, regardless of the fact that there are more than the usual number of bank holidays.

This unusual situation will of course also affect the following leave year (1st April 2016 to 31st March 2017), as there will be no Easter Holidays within that 12 month period, so only six Bank Holidays that year.

As the law states that employers must offer their employees a minimum of 28 days a year, you cannot get around this just because two of these days are Bank Holidays that are not taking place within that year.

As a result, you may need to give your staff an extra two days’ annual leave to ensure they get their minimum entitlement.

Confused? Contact the experts

As this is quite a complicated situation, you may want to consult an employment solicitor to advise you on getting it right. Ironmonger Curtis have a team of employment lawyers that can guide you through this issue. Just call 0114 253 6559.