Your Union has been receiving a number of enquiries on the question of whether you are entitled to get an extra day off for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee on Tuesday 5 June.
The simple answer to this is yes, if it is stated in your employment contract that any proclaimed statutory holidays will be honoured. But, you should not assume you have a statutory right to paid leave on bank and public holidays and, if your employer gives paid leave on a bank or public holiday, this can also count towards your minimum holiday entitlement of 5.6 weeks paid annual leave.
Your Union is urging companies to plan carefully for the extra bank holiday with deliveries arranged so that as many drivers as possible can enjoy the extra bank holiday with their family and friends. Employers need to be aware that public holidays are a immensely popular part of life in the UK.
Their strength is that, because so many people are off from work at the same time, it makes it easier to get together with family and friends.
If any drivers are needed for essential journeys on a bank holiday, they should be chosen in a fair way, preferably through a voluntary scheme where rewards of overtime or extra holidays commensurate with having to work the bank holiday.
Because the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee comes the day after the Spring Bank holiday, it is likely that there will be a big demand amongst employees to also take Wednesday 6, Thursday 7 and Friday 8 June as holiday. Your Union is urging employers to take a sensible approach to allowing employees to take these days as holiday. Having drivers with lower levels of stress and increased morale, through having enjoyed a week off work, will have far reaching benefits for the company. Any decision on who can or cannot take the requested holiday needs to be completed in a fair way.
Although the extra bank holiday in 2012 will provide many UK employees with a much needed rest from work, URTU is continuing to campaign the government to increase the number of permanent bank holidays to bring us into line with other EU countries. With just eight public holidays, the UK has one of the stingiest allocations in Europe.