Bank Holidays in 2021 and Beyond – What Do You Need To Know?

bank holidays in 2021

With many of us on furlough this year, payments for bank holidays in 2021 may have changed from that of years prior. From a business owner’s perspective, there is much you should consider regarding bank holidays during the pandemic. Thus, this article will help clear up any confusion.

“A bank holiday is a national public holiday in the United Kingdom and the Crown dependencies. The term refers to all public holidays in the United Kingdom be they set out in statute, declared by royal proclamation or held by convention under common law – The term ‘bank holiday’ refers to the fact that banking institutions typically close for business on such holidays”.


UK bank holiday dates for 2021 and 2022

Dates for Bank Holidays in 2021Dates for Bank Holidays in 2022
Fri 1 Jan 2021
Mon 4 Jan 2021 (Scotland)
Wed 17 Mar 2021 (NI)
Fri 2 Apr 2021
Mon 5 Apr 2021 (except Scotland)
Mon 3 May 2021
Mon 31 May 2021
Mon 12 Jul 2021 (NI)
Mon 2 Aug 2021 (Scotland)
Mon 30 Aug 2021 (except Scotland)
Tue 30 Nov 2021 (Scotland)
Mon 27 Dec 2021
Tue 28 Dec 2021
Mon 3 Jan 2022
Tue 4 Jan 2022 (Scotland)
Thu 17 Mar 2022 (NI)
Fri 15 Apr 2022
Mon 18 Apr 2022 (except Scotland)
Mon 2 May 2022
Thu 2 Jun 2022
Fri 3 Jun 2022
Tue 12 Jul 2022 (NI)
Mon 1 Aug 2022 (Scotland)
Mon 29 Aug 2022 (Scotland)
Wed 30 Nov 2022 (Scotland)
Mon 26 Dec 2022
Tue 27 Dec 2022

Bank Holidays for England and Wales include; New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, May Day, Spring Bank Holiday, Late Summer, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. In addition, for those living in Scotland and Northern Ireland there are additional bank holidays such as St Patrick’s Day and The Anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne (NI) and St Andrews day (Scotland). Furthermore, in 2022, there will be an additional holiday to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Considerations for Employers

Statutory Rights

Firstly, employers must be aware that there is no statutory right to take bank holidays off work. Thus , it is the employees contracts of employment terms which dictate whether there is any right to take time off work. In addition to this, one should be aware that where an employee takes time off for bank holidays, there is no entitlement to additional pay. Extra pay such as “double pay” and “time and a half” will depend on the contracted terms of employment within worker contracts.

To find out more about staff contracts and handbooks, read our article on workplace policies.

For where bank holidays in 2021 and beyond form part of the contracted terms of employment during furlough, employers have two options:

  1. Pay furloughed employees in full for bank holidays during this time period.
  2. Employers may also substitute pay for bank holidays instead with a day’s annual leave to can be taken on a later date.

Part Time Workers

Where part time workers are concerned, they may be favoured less than full time workers with regards to bank holidays. Employers should definitely consider having a pro-rated allowance for paid bank holidays, regardless of whether part time workers work on the bank holiday dates.

Religious Considerations

If an employee is required to work on a bank holiday following their contracted terms of employment, they may not refuse work even on religious grounds. However, refusing christian employees time off for christian related bank holidays can be a cause of discrimination. This is because it may place them at a disadvantage in comparison to workers of differing beliefs and faiths.

In addition to bank holidays, there is more that needs to be considered regarding furloughed employees. Read our article on the changes for furloughed employees in 2021.

Statutory Minimum Leave

If worker contracts state a right to statutory entitlement plus bank holidays, this no longer means 20 days’ leave and eight bank holidays. Furthermore, an increase in statutory minimum leave in 2009 grants 28 days leave with 8 bank holidays. Thus, for bank holidays in 2021 and beyond, employers should refer back to their written contracts to see if this is an issue to be addressed.

An issue that may arise here is where employees are receiving more or less holiday than is required. For example, where employees have contracts running between April and March , the timing of Easter weekend may result in a maximum of 10 days bank holiday or as few as 6 in the following working year. Problems such as this may also arise in 2024 where Good Friday is 29 March and Easter Monday is on 1 April. The issue here arises as the 2023-24 holiday year would have a total of nine bank holidays whereas 2024-25 would have seven.

For more information surrounding bank holidays or for further HR support, contact us.