Many of us will be looking forward to an extra bank holiday on the 8th May this year to celebrate the Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III which actually happens on the 6th May (a Saturday).  However, are employers obliged to give employees the 8th May off to commemorate this historic event?

What the law states

There’s no automatic legal entitlement for an employee to take leave on the 8th May simply because it has been announced as a public holiday. Whether an employee is entitled to take an additional paid holiday on this date depends on the specific wording of their contract of employment.

If the contract of employment specifies particular days that will be granted by the employer as public holidays, then it’s unlikely that the employer will be obliged to grant the additional day. Also, many employment contracts state that employees are entitled to time off for the “usual” or “normal” public holidays, which means an employer will not be obliged to allow its employee to have this additional day off. Of course, if the contract of employment entitles an employee to all recognised public holidays, the employee will have a legal entitlement to this additional holiday.

Solutions for employers

Employers whose employees are entitled to the day off, and who are concerned that their business may be adversely affected may wish to negotiate with their employees over alternative arrangements. This could include granting an alternative day’s holiday or paying a public holiday premium to employees.

Employers whose employees are not entitled to the day off, may find that they receive an influx of holiday requests for the 8th May, in which case employers should treat such requests in line with their policies and procedures to be consistent and fair. This is an example of why it can be extremely useful to have well-written and comprehensive policies and procedures, so that staff know where they stand.

If employers do oblige employees to work on the 8th May (and are contractually entitled to do so), they could decorate the office or arrange activities in the office to boost staff morale. This may also prevent employees being inclined to pull a “sickie”.

If you require advice on this topic or any other employment law matter, arrange a consultation today by contacting our dedicated employment law team on 0161 930 5151 or

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