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Bank Holiday - classed as additional days to annual leave? HR/Solicitor's advice please.

(12 Posts)
Iona1651 Wed 28-Jan-15 22:01:31

I just would like some up to date information re. my holidays. I know that I am entitled to my annual holidays not taken due to being on maternity leave. However, I've been told that bank holidays are now also allowed as the law has changed. I have had bank holidays as paid days off all the time I have worked for the company. So, will I be entitled to add the bank holidays to my annual leave and be paid them all as holidays. Any up to date information would be very helpful. Thanks for reading/replying.

MinceSpy Wed 28-Jan-15 22:11:52

You need to check your contract. Legally employers can include bank holidays in the overall annual leave quota. If you got x number days plus bank holidays then that continues.

Iona1651 Wed 28-Jan-15 22:20:37

my contract states hols are in accordance with the staff rules. These read:

"The current stat hol entitlement is 8 days and annual hols 25 days."

So am I right in believing that I do get the statutory/bank hols in addition to my annual hols?

Also, my contract has a line which states " .... treated for the purposes of all contractual and stat rights, as if she had been continuously employed throughout her period of absence. However, she will be regarded as having taken any hol due to her pro rata to her length of absence" what does this mean exactly?

CheshireSplat Wed 28-Jan-15 22:20:44

Seconding what Mincespy says. My contract states 25 days holidays plus 8 (?) public holidays. DH's is 38 days including public holidays.

I'm tagging 4 weeks' holiday onto the end of my mat leave, and that first pay cheque when I go back (although I'll be off on holiday) will include payment for the public holidays that have occurred whilst I was on leave.

CheshireSplat Wed 28-Jan-15 22:23:13

Sorry cross-posted with you then. So yes you should get paid for the 8 bank holidays in addition to your annual leave. I'm just going to read the second part of your second post now as I agree, it's not very clear.

flowery Wed 28-Jan-15 22:28:10

You are entitled to all your contractual benefits including all contractual paid leave. Bank holidays are no different from "normal" holiday days as far as employment law is concerned. The fact that 8 of your paid holiday days have to be taken on set days each year doesn't mean you lose them when on maternity leave. That would be treating women on maternity leave less favourably than other employees which is unlawful discrimination.

CheshireSplat Wed 28-Jan-15 22:28:19

Hmm, I'm guessing so please don't rely on this but maybe it means you have to take the same pro-rated amount of holiday as leave you have taken. So if you have 8 months off, you will be deemed to have taken 2/3 of your annual leave during that time. You'd have to get paid for this. But maybe it's to stop people coming back and taking annual leave each week to make their hours (more) part time, or to avoid them having 5 weeks to use up before the end of the holiday year.

Hopefully someone else will be able to clarify.

MinceSpy Thu 29-Jan-15 08:09:34

Yep you continue to get bank holidays plus annual leave. I work part-time so get it pro rata

TiredButFine Thu 29-Jan-15 18:03:56

Hard to say without knowing what part of contract that quote was from- it refers to "she" is it part of a policy on maternity or a maternity letter? It sounds like it might be trying to say that you've used any of the holiday you accrued during the absence, during the absence? But that wouldn't be legal in a maternity situation AFAIK
Legally you are entitled to 28 days off per year. Your contract allows 25+8=33. Firstly, did you use all the year's leave before going on maternity? Secondly, did another leave year start whilst you were in maternity? And third, did you receive full pay at any time during the maternity-if so, any bank holidays that fell during that period could be counted as you having had full pay for them.

Iona1651 Thu 29-Jan-15 20:41:23

Hi all. Thanks for your replies.

Under sickness, maternity leave and time off work of my contract of employment, section e) states "provided that the employee has completed the required period of continuous employment she will be entitled to smp when she is absent from work due to pregnancy or confinement. This will be paid at the rates and for the period prescribed by law. This is subject to the employee giving the employer all the required notices in writing and providing a certificate from a registered medical practitioner or registered midwife of the expected date of her confinement. If the employee qualifies for the right to return to work as provided for in the Employment Protection (Consolidation) Act 1978 (as amended), and fulfils the obligations as to notices contained in that Act, she will, on returning from maternity leave, be treated for the purposes of all contractual and statutory rights, as if she had been continuously employed throughout her period of absence. However, she will be regarded as having taken any holiday due to her pro rata to her length of absence".

I went on maternity leave at the beginning of June 2014. I have only received SMP (i.e. 90% of my salary for 6 weeks then SMP after that). I am taking a full year off work, returning at the beginning of June 2015 (unless I am allowed to add any holidays to the end of my maternity leave). I will have the last 3 months with no pay. Our holiday year starts on 1 October. I believe I have 14 days from 2014,plus August bank holiday 2014. Plus I then have what I have accrued from 1 October to going back to work, plus Christmas bank holidays.

I didn't receive a maternity policy as I don't think we have one.

Sorry for the long post and thanks for your advice.

CheshireSplat Thu 29-Jan-15 21:54:57

It sounds like they are saying you will have used up annual leave whilst you are on mat leave. Which, as tired says, is not allowed. Do you have an HR dept you can speak to? It may be that they haven't read the contract for years and have forgotten about it and that they will agree to let you take the leave, or pay for it, or roll it over. Are there any colleagues who have taken mat leave that you can ask.

TiredButFine Fri 30-Jan-15 08:23:26

What cheshire says, it sounds like an old contract that has not been updated, and you might find that there are new policies which override that.
It is saying that if you go on sick/mat leave, that you on the one hand build up leave but on the other hand have used it whilst you were off.
The legal reason that isn't true any more is because of a famous case (Stringer vs HMRC for anyone interested!) where it was ruled that you build up annual leave whilst sick, and are entitled to take it (you can't be on annual leave and sick at the same time and you can't "lose" the annual leave if you didn't take it due to being off sick).
Because that ruling means that after sick, you can still have the leave you built up whilst off, it means that an employer can't apply that logic to maternity leave because that would mean a man who was off sick 9 months would get the leave but a woman off on maternity wouldn't, and as only women go on maternity that would discriminate against women.
However the extra complicated bit is that they can argue (due to the contract) that you are only entitled to up to 28 days statutory leave in a year, not the 25+8=33. For reasons I won't go into but it basically depends a lot on their policies etc.
speak to HR and ask them what annual leave you'll have left if you were to end your maternity in June, they may well be helpful (and may need a bit of time to work it out!)
Lots of companies like you to take all the outstanding annual leave after maternity, as the person covering you just carries on doing the cover so it's simpler for them.
Also, if you were told that bank hols are now included in leave that may be because a few years back the minimum statutory annual leave was raised in stages from 20 days a year to 28. To avoid costs a lot of employers just started to add the 8 bank hols in a year on to annual leave entitlement which lots hadn't done before, many had given 20 -25 days plus bank hols historically apart from some skanks who counted the bank hols in the 20 days (american companies esp) so that advice is a bit oa red herring, not the point to make your agruement on in this situation

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