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HR Tip - Bank Holiday working

6th Nov 2003
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These questions are being answered by Learn HR, a market leader in the provision of HR and payroll training and nationally-recognised professional qualifications.

Q: Can we force employees to work on Bank Holidays?

A: When offering employment you can require candidates to work or to not work on certain days, provided you allow them at least four weeks of holiday in the year.

You can, for example, make it part of the contract that they work on Easter Monday and Spring Bank Holiday, say, for instance that this is when your garden centre is busy, or that they take off the whole of the period between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day when business is slack.

However, you cannot enforce this on existing employees who do not have the requirement in their contract. You would need to persuade them to conform with your request or negotiate it with them. Failure to do so would leave you open to claims of breach of contract.

(This topic is covered in detail in our Employment Law courses)

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