Can I be forced to work extra to make up for bank holidays?

I have been offered a full-time job working 40 hours a week, but I was told at the interview that in a week with a bank holiday that I would have to work my 40 hours in the other four days. Is this legal – it means that I’m not getting paid for the bank holiday? My holiday is 20 days plus bank holidays.

The starting point would be to refer to the terms and conditions listed in your contract of employment. I appreciate you are yet to receive this, but generally speaking, this document should give the details of your normal working hours and also list your holiday entitlement, including entitlement to any public holidays.

Under the Working Time Regulations 1998, a worker in the UK is entitled to 5.6 weeks’ annual leave each leave year. This is equivalent to 28 days for those who work five days a week – which matches what was said in the job advert. This can include bank holidays, but does not necessarily have to.

If the business is closed on bank holidays or public holidays then it is foreseeable that the contract will state this and that these dates will be classed as part of your annual leave entitlement. If this is the situation then you should not be required to make up hours for time spent on annual leave.

I would suggest that you ask for a copy of the contract of employment prior to your first day so you can clarify the situation before starting work. If you are still unsure once you have reviewed the contract then I would recommend you get further legal advice. An employment solicitor would be able to go through the terms and conditions of your contract with you in order to clarify the position.

Should you require any further clarification on the above points then please do not hesitate to contact Tracey Guest on 0161 672 1425.

*Helen Frankland has assisted with this answer.

Comments [2]

  • Julie says:

    Iv worked at ago practice for 21 I work 30 hours a week and get 5 weeks holiday plus bank holidays pro Rata . My last 2 managers used to work out a fair average of holiday for bank holidays of 6 hours because I work 10 hour days Monday and Friday. Unlike my other colleagues who work 7.5 And Tues and weds 5 hours . Our practice has been tupe d over to another practice and their HR has changed all the bank holidays last year to taking 10 hours off my actually holiday allowance on b/h Monday or fridays,she works as per agenda for change They are only care takers off us at the moment anyway . But last year I’d only had 115 hours off I was entitled to 204 in total as per my last manager , however she has re calculated and says iv Got 24 hours remaining so 64 hours have come off my holiday s . Can I argue this ? I did speak to her but she was nt helpful and says I could perhaps work the week iv lost as over time unpaid throughout the year to get my extra week back ?

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