EASTER is coming up and while this means there are two bank holidays on the cards, some of us will inevitably have to work through these.
This year Easter falls on Sunday April 21 with the Good Friday bank holiday falling on April 19 and the Easter Monday bank holiday falling on April 22.
But can your boss make you work on bank holidays and if they do can you get extra pay? We round-up your rights.
Do I have to work on Good Friday and Easter Monday?
Sadly, according to the Government, which sets bank holidays, there is no automatic right for workers to have bank holidays off as paid leave – and that includes Good Friday and Easter Monday.
Whether you have to work is entirely up to your employer and the contract you agreed with them.
How to resolve a problem with your employer
IF you’ve got an issue with your employer, here is Citizens Advice on how to deal with it.
Step 1: speak to your employer
Try having an informal chat with your employer or HR department. Explain your concerns and try to resolve the issue.
Step 2: raise a grievance
Check if your employer has a formal grievance procedure you can use. Even if they haven’t, you can still raise a grievance – for example by writing a letter.
You could say something like: “My contract states my rights regarding bank holiday working. You have breached these terms.”
Check if your employer has a trade union as it may be able to help.
Step 3: get advice
If your employer doesn’t respond, or they do but it’s not the response you wanted, you should contact your local Citizens Advice. They’ll be able to advise you on what to do next – for example, whether you can take your case to an employment tribunal.
Some employers will choose to include bank holidays as part of their staff’s statutory annual leave or they may say staff get the days off on top of their statutory annual leave.
Others will give staff a day off in lieu in return for working a bank holiday.
It all depends on the holiday allowance your employer gives you.
According to the Government, almost all employees working five days a week are legally entitled to 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday a year – the equivalent of 28 days.
Can I get extra pay for working on Good Friday and Easter Monday?
Because there’s no automatic right not to work on public holidays, it also means it’s entirely up to employers whether you get a boost to your pay when you do have to come in.
If you’re unsure what your work’s policy is, check your contract or speak directly to your employer.
Some employers will give staff double pay or “time and a half” their usual day rate.
When are the Bank Holiday Dates in 2019?
HERE is the full list of 2019 bank holidays below:
1 January – New Year’s Day
2 January – 2 January (Scotland only)
17 March – St Patrick’s Day (Northern Ireland only)
19 April – Good Friday
22 April – Easter Monday
6 May – May Day
27 May – Spring bank holiday
12 July – Battle of the Boyne/ Orangemen’s Day (Northern Ireland only)
5 August – Summer bank holiday (Scotland only)
26 August – Summer bank holiday
25 December – Christmas Day
26 December Boxing Day
What if I can’t work because of religious reasons?
If you’re told you can’t take a day’s annual leave because of religious reasons, you may have a claim for indirect religious discrimination, according to Hannah Parsons, legal advice manager of DAS Law.
This would happen if your employer fails to grant you annual leave and you can point to other workers not receiving the same discrimination based on their religion.