Do shift workers get Bank Holiday Entitlements?

I work 30 hours (4 days) per week as an administrator for the NHS so my workplace is open seven days a week. I have to be available to work Bank Holidays and weekends on a roster system which our Team Leader decides. I used to work one in three weekends and most of the Bank holidays but now, due to cutbacks, I only work one in six weekends and maybe just one Bank holiday. My query is: if I am not rostered to work a Bank Holiday do I have to take this as an annual leave day? At the moment I am being told that I have to use my annual leave when rostered off on a Bank Holiday and cannot have this as my day off – is this the case?. I am very confused as to what I can and cannot do. I would prefer to either work the Bank Holiday or have this rostered as my day off instead of taking this from my annual leave.

understand that you work part time (30 hours / 4 days a week) and you have to be available to work weekends and public holidays if you are put on the rota. You have been told by your employer that where you are not on the rota to work a bank public holiday, you must take this as Annual Leave rather than have it as your day off.

Statutory Annual Leave Entitlement for full time workers increased to 4.8 weeks on 1 October 2007 and to 5.6 weeks on 1 April 2009. It is widely reported that this was done to address the fact that there was no entitlement to public holidays under the Working Time Regulations, and many employers were counting the eight public holidays as part of the then four-week annual leave entitlement.

Despite the increases there is still no statutory right to time off (whether paid or otherwise) on a public holiday.

Whether you can be required to work on a public holiday is a matter for the contract. In many industries or occupations working on public holidays is a commercial or operational necessity. As you have stated, you are required, presumably under your contract, to be available to work public holidays.

As a part-time worker you are entitled to 5.6 weeks’ annual leave in the same way as any other worker. The Regulations do not specifically define what is meant by a week’s leave, but in practice a week’s leave involves a worker being away from work for a week. So, a week’s leave for a full-time worker will be five days, and as you work four days, a week will be four days. Viewing the entitlement in terms of the number of days (rather than weeks), you have a pro rata equivalent amount of annual leave to a full-time worker.

Employers who only give part-time workers paid time off for public and bank holidays that fall on days on which they would normally work may be in breach of the Part-Time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000, because part-time workers who do not normally work on Mondays, or those whose working days are variable, will be treated less favourably than comparable full-time workers.

The simplest way to achieve equality, as recommended by the BIS guidance, is to give part-time workers a pro rata entitlement to public holidays regardless of whether they normally work on days on which those holidays fall, and to monitor the days on which they work.

Essentially, if you are available to work on a public holiday and it is your employer who has not put you on the rota, you should not be forced to take the day as annual leave, subject to any conditions in your contract. If you would like more specific advice please forward me a copy of your employment contract to [email protected] .

Comments [8]

  • Amrik Graya says:

    Hi I am on a two week rotating rosta, I happen to be on my 3 days off and one falls on a bank holiday. Do I a right to an additional day off?

    • Mandy Garner says:

      What does it say in your contract? Does it specify that you have to work on bank holidays or are they counted as part of your holiday? You should get at least 28 days minimum holidays if you work full time, which can include bank holidays, but some employers ask staff to work on bank holidays so you would need to check.

  • Vicky says:

    Is a 17 yr old entitled to double time for working Good Friday.

  • Joanne Docherty says:

    Hello , I work nightshift contracted 20 hours per week and also I cover if someone’s off . I work 3 weekends out of four but Thursday through to Monday. I just wondered howhat’s many holidays I’m entitled to. I’m a single mum and I’m 52 . Hope you can help , thank you .

    • Mandy Garner says:

      You would need to work your holiday out in hours and you would get a percentage of whatever full timers in your organisation get. This should be at least 28 days a year. Bank holidays can be included in this. They do not have to be given as extra. If they are given as extra to the 28 days then you, as a part timer, would get a percentage of those too. If full timers get 28 days you can work out your entitlement in hours on the government’s calculator – see

  • Michael xavier says:

    Hi there just wanted to find out something for my 17 year old son..he works 20 hrs a week..weekends 8 hrs a day and one more day of 4hrs…is he entitled to bank holidays and if so can he be given the lieu bh on a day of the week he doesn’t work…

    • Mandy Garner says:

      If he is on a regular contract he is entitled to a pro rata of whatever full timers in his organisation get, which should not be less than 28 days a year. Those 28 days include bank holidays which do not have to be given as extra to minimum holiday entitlement. If full timers get bank holidays on top he should get a pro rata of that.

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