Easter Bank Holidays

How To Manage Easter Bank Holidays

Employers with a holiday year which runs from 1 April – 31 March should consider when the Easter bank holidays fall each year. Easter bank holiday dates change each year and could fall early one year and late the following year, affecting the number of bank holidays in the one holiday year. If two easters fall within one holiday year you risk breaching the Working Time Regulation by given less than the statutory minimum entitlement for that holiday year.

When Are The Easter Bank Holidays

The Easter Bank Holiday for the next few years fall as follows:

This page was first published on 1 March 2016 and was updated on 8 April 2023.
  • 2023: 7 and 10 April
  • 2024: 29 March and 1 April
  • 2025: 14 and 17 April
  • 2026: 3 and 6 April
  • 2027: 26 and 29 March
  • 2028: 14 and 17 April
  • 2029: 30 March and 2 April

Therefore in the holiday year 1 April 2023 – 31 March 2024 there will be three Easter Bank Holidays: Good Friday on 7 April 2023, Easter Monday on 10 April 2023 and Good Friday on 29 March 2024, so with the Coronation Bank Holiday that is a total of 10 Bank Holidays for the 2023-24 holiday year.

How Is The Holiday Year Affected By The Movement Of The Easter Bank Holidays

Holiday Year Start
1 April 2023
1 April 2024
1 April 2025
Holiday Year End 31 March 2024
31 March 2025
31 March 2026
Standard Bank Holidays New Years Day
Good Friday x 2 (7 April 2023 and 29 March 2023)
Easter Monday
Early May
Late May
August
Christmas Day
Boxing Day
New Years Day
Easter Monday
Early May
Late May
August
Christmas Day
Boxing Day
New Years Day
Good Friday
Easter Monday
Early May
Late May
August
Christmas Day
Boxing Day
Additional Bank Holidays One: Coronation Bank Holiday Zero Zero
Total Bank Holidays:
TEN
SEVEN
EIGHT

You will be affected if your holiday year that runs from 1 April to 31 March, and your holiday policy uses wording along the lines of “20 days holiday plus bank holidays”. If that is the case it’s important that you adjust the annual entitlement each year to take account of the Easter holiday.

Implications

For the holiday year April 2023 to March 2024, there will be nine standard Bank Holidays and one additional bank holiday. Then in the 2024-25 holiday year there will only be seven standard Bank Holidays.

You cannot rely on an increase in holiday entitlement from one holiday year been ‘evened up’ by having less than the statutory minimum in the next leave year.

The working time Regulations provide for an entitlement of 5.6 weeks annual leave which equates to 28 days for an employee working a 5-day week. The entitlement is a statutory minimum which cannot be negotiated out of. Your contract of employment will probably describe the annual entitlement for a full-time employee in one of the following ways:

  • 20 days plus Bank Holidays
  • 20 days plus 8 Bank Holidays
  • 20 days plus the following Bank Holidays: New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, May Day, Spring Bank Holiday, Summer Bank Holiday, Christmas Day and Boxing Day
  • 5.6 weeks inclusive of Bank Holidays

My Top Tips

20 days plus Bank Holidays

This could be interpreted as a contractual right to all Bank Holidays, regardless of how many there are in a year but caution should be applied with the 2024-25 leave year as reducing the annual entitlement to 27 days would not comply with the minimum statutory entitlement of 28 days.

My advice in this situation is as follows:

  • 2023-24 Holiday Year – increase the annual entitlement for full time employees to 29 days to accommodate the Easter Bank Holidays and pro rata that for part time employees.
  • 2024-25 Holiday Year – top up the annual entitlement to by 1 day to allow for the missing Bank Holiday, so they would have 21 flexible days and 7 bank holiday day, and either allow employees to take them at a time of their choosing or stipulate the dates when they must be taken. Remember to pro rata the top up day for part time employees.

20 days plus 8 Bank Holidays

This clause stipulates that a specific number of Bank Holidays are part of the annual leave entitlement and therefore there is no contractual right to the second Good Friday in the 2023-24 holiday year. But as in the previous situation caution should be applied with the entitlement for the 2024-25 holiday year.

My advice in this situation is as follows:

  • 2023-24 Holiday Year – notify employees that they will need to reserve a day from their annual holiday entitlement for the 2024 Good Friday Bank Holiday.
  • 2024-25 Holiday Year – top up the Annual Entitlement by 1 day and either allow employees to take the day at a time of their choosing or stipulate a date when it must be taken.

20 days plus the following Bank Holidays …..

This clause stipulates that specifically named Bank Holidays are part of the annual leave entitlement and therefore there is a contractual entitlement to the Easter Bank Holidays whenever they fall. As in the previous situations caution should be applied with the entitlement for the 2024-25 leave year.

My advice in this situation is as follows:

  • 2023-24 Holiday Year – increase the annual entitlement for full time employees to 29 days to accommodate the 2024 Good Friday Bank Holiday and pro rata that for part time employees.
  • 2024-25 Holiday Year – top up the Annual Entitlement by 1 day and either allow employees to take the day at a time of their choosing or stipulate a date when it must be taken.

5.6 weeks inclusive of Bank Holidays

This clause stipulates that Bank Holidays, regardless of the number, are part of the annual leave entitlement and therefore there is no contractual entitlement to any days that take the total entitlement beyond 5.6 weeks. As in the previous situations caution should be applied with the entitlement for the 2016-17 leave year.

My advice in this situation is as follows:

  • 2023-24 Holiday Year – notify employees that they will need to reserve a day from their annual holiday entitlement for the 2024 Good Friday Bank Holiday.
  • 2024-25 Holiday Year – top up the Annual Entitlement by 1 day and either allow employees to take the day at a time of their choosing or stipulate a date when it must be taken.

Change Your Holiday Year

If you do not wish to Top Up your entitlement as described above you can change your holiday year from April to March to January to December. That way you always get one Easter in a leave year regardless of the exact date it falls on.

Changing employees’ contracts is a delicate process that should be planned and navigated very carefully; something I can help you with.

Holiday Entitlement Toolkit

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Holiday Entitlement ToolkitMy Holiday Entitlement Toolkit provides simple and straightforward answers to common questions relating to Holiday Entitlement in the UK, such as how to:

  • Calculate holiday for starters and leavers
  • Calculate holiday entitlement for part-time and non standard working patterns.
  • Deal with part days
  • Decline or cancel a pre approved holiday
  • Enforce a period of holiday on an employee or group of employees
  • Deal with competing request for holiday
  • Deal with an employee who goes ahead with a holiday which has not been authorised
  • Calculate holiday pay

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Easter Bank Holidays

Kathryn

Kathryn is a highly experienced HR Manager with a wealth of skills and knowledge acquired across a variety of industries including manufacturing, health and social care and financial services. She has worked in small localised business and larger multi sited organisations and is comfortable liaising with senior managers and union officials as well as answering queries from team members. Connect with Kathryn on:

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