Can your boss force you to work this August bank holiday
With good weather expected for the bank holiday, it'll mean lie-ins, barbecues and brunches for many. But spare a thought for the restaurant, pub, taxi and NHS workers that will be setting their alarms for gruelling shifts come Sunday night.
Can you refuse to work? DAS Law’s Hannah Parsons outlines your rights.
Check your employment contract
Whether or not you have to work the Bank Holiday will depend on your contract of employment. That is usually a written document, but it doesn’t have to be. The terms can also be found in what is implied through custom and practice..
Some employers close down on Bank Holidays and your contract will entitle you to take those days in addition to, or as part of, your annual leave entitlement in which case you would not be required to work.
However, if Monday 26 August falls on one of your normal working days, and your employer opens for business on public holidays and expects you to work, then you are likely to be contractually obliged to work unless you have been granted annual leave.
In short, if your contract states it’s business as usual and compulsory, you’ll be expected to work. However, if the office is closed, you won’t be obliged to go in unless you’ve agreed otherwise. This may or may not involve your holiday allowance.
What about taking it as holiday?
If you are scheduled to work, you are able to request using annual leave on a Bank Holiday just like any other day. However, it will be at the discretion of the employer as to whether the request is granted.
Generally, as long as an employer doesn’t curtail an employees’ right to take annual leave, employers may decline requests for annual leave and will usually rely on business reasons for doing so.
DAS Group UK has been a pioneer of the legal expenses insurance market since the concept was first introduced to the UK in 1975. DAS provides protection against unforeseen legal costs to millions of families and motorists, and hundreds of thousands of businesses every year, offering both before-the-event and after-the-event insurance products and a range of telephone advice and assistance services, including the flagship legal advice service.
DAS is an authorised and regulated insurance company, based in Bristol, with offices in London, Manchester and Bedwas, South Wales, as well as subsidiaries in Arundel, Dublin and Toronto. DAS employs some 600 staff and has become one of the UK's leading specialist insurers.
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