I have had several clients contact me recently, asking about how to manage the King's coronation on the 6th of May 2023 and the extra bank holiday that comes with it ...
Handling bank holidays is normally not a problem as they're know well in advance, so the same rules should be applicable to this extra bank holiday, as it was for the Queen's Jubilee and her subsequent funeral last year.
This may mean as many staff members as possible are required at work. Employers can designate days on which no annual leave can be taken by giving a minimum amount of notice, but the more notice the better.
You may receive requests from employees to cancel pre-booked leave, as the coronation has altered their plans. It's advisable to agree wherever possible, but if there are business reasons that would cause disruption, such as cover already being organised which cannot be changed, then the request can be refused and the employee will take the leave as originally planned.
Now, depending on operational requirements, will you allow your employees to view the coronation at work? You may be able to broadcast the ceremony at work, but do note that a TV licence registered at the workplace is required.
Employees could take extended breaks and make up the time, or modify their start, finish, and break times (with your agreement) to watch it. If watching it is not feasible, playing the radio coverage might be a good alternative.
And of course, you might want to arrange an office party to commemorate the day. Whether held outside work hours or during, you should clearly communicate your expectations for productivity, performance, and behaviour while still enjoying the festivities and the potential consequences if not met.
If food and drink are served, a variety of options should be offered to cater for dietary requirements, such as vegetarian, vegan, and halal options. If alcohol is served, non-alcoholic drinks should be provided as well.
If you do want to take advantage of this, they will need to review employment contracts to see if they allow flexibility in working hours. If they state that employees may be required to work overtime or extra hours, or may be subject to a rota change, then it may be a reasonable instruction to require them to work extra hours. Always consider individual circumstances such as childcare first.
Alternatively, employees could be asked if they want to work, perhaps offering enhanced pay or extra paid time off at another time as an incentive!
Employees have the right to take time off for dependants if there is an unexpected breakdown in their childcare arrangements, which can arguably include the extra bank holiday. They could take annual leave if they are scheduled to work, but if this is not possible, they may have no other option, but to take the day off under their statutory rights.
Always collaborate with the employee to find an alternative, including working from home, asking employees already booked off on the day to see if they will change their plans (although they shouldn't be forced to), or checking if there is anyone else working on that day who could cover for the employee.
We've had plenty of notice about the Coronation, so it should come as no surprise to any employer, but do think about what's best for both your business and your employees so everyone can enjoy the pomp and ceremony of the day.
If you feel inspired to find out more about anything I've said here, do call me on 01908 774320 or leave a comment below and I'll be in touch as soon as I can.