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Entitlement to Bank Holidays during Mat Leave

(12 Posts)
Blackkat Wed 27-Jul-11 10:37:37

Hello, My company policy says no, but I've found rulings from the European Court of Justice that say yes. What has everyone else experienced and does anyone have anything concrete they can share with me to discuss with my HR department? Thanks

icravecheese Wed 27-Jul-11 10:47:12

I read another thread about this recently.... It depends what your employers holiday policy is.... i.e. do you have to use your annual holiday entitlement for bank holidays, or are you 'given' bank holidays free?

For example, my husband runs a company & gives all his staff 30 days holiday per year. However, those 30 days HAVE to include all bank holidays too i.e. staff are given 30days holiday per year, then taking into account all the bank holidays during the year, which totals about 8 I believe, they are left with 22 days holiday to take whenever they wish.

I do all the finances for my husbands business, & when I joined I thought this holiday policy was MEGA unfair, and also not allowed. However, he had taken legal HR advice and proved to me that this is perfectly allowable.

So, if your company has a policy whereby you are given a certain number of holidays per year but you have to use some of those for the bank hols, then I dont think you can argue you are owed the bank hols during mat leave. If, on the other hand, you usually get all the bank hols off for 'free' so to speak, then you might have an argument to make with your employer.

Does your company give you any enhanced mat benefits on top of the SMP you are entitled to?

Blackkat Wed 27-Jul-11 10:53:30

Hi icravecheese thank you for your post. Normally I get my leave entitlement for the year and the BH are additional. So, during mat leave I would accrue normal leave, but the policy states not BH.
I do get occupational maternity pay for the first 3 months.
I don't want to take the piss at work, but I want to be entirely sure what I am and am not entitled to before I start making formal arrangements; it seems to me that if I was entitled to those days were I working, I shouldn't be penalised just because I'm on maternity leave?

kri5ty Wed 27-Jul-11 11:02:28

yup same here... with my company we work bank holidays, and get liue days (on top of our block weeks) back to use as our holiday entitlment

icravecheese Wed 27-Jul-11 11:02:32

Very true... is it actually written in their policy that you don't get paid for bank hols when on mat leave? Or has someone in HR just said that to you? If its not written down clearly in either their holiday or maternity pay policy, then I think you've prob got a valid argument. However if they've written it in their policy, then that is their policy (however unfair it seems) & i'm not sure you could argue much with it....

But good luck whatever you decide to do (and enjoy your mat leave, its over too quickly!!)

bennybenbear Wed 27-Jul-11 12:19:28

I've just taken this up with our HR (HE Institution) as the maternity policy specifically states that bank holidays aren't included so thought it worth a try! Esp as it will be hugely important to me as I can't afford to have any more than the 18 weeks leave, my husband is no longer eligible for paternity having just switched jobs and the nursery won't take younger than 6 months - every extra day will help!

I've sent them the details of the ECJ outcome and a link to the Local Government Employers website ( where it explains things a bit better than the DirectGov one.

In employment law it states that those on maternity should the same contractual benefits so I can't see how this is fair if bank hols are not allowed, or christmas shutdown as happens at our place. I don't how it can be justified that this is 'fixed leave' as in teh ECJ case and thus discrimination.

Another issue to support this is, that without bank holidays included our leave does not meet the minimum requirements legally of 28 days so can't be right!

I'll let you know how I get on.

H007 Wed 27-Jul-11 12:24:21

bennybenbear I have just done this as well (with a HE institution) they have been looking into it for a week so far. What did your's come back and say?

bennybenbear Wed 27-Jul-11 12:28:38

Great, will be interesting to compare notes! I only brought it up yesterday as I had to give my leaving date (said my EDD - optimistic!!) so not heard back yet, will def let you know when I do.

Tigerlark Wed 27-Jul-11 13:13:29

Hi There, really interesting reading your posts as I also work for an HE institution and although it doesnt state it anywhere I was informed I am entitled to BH as additional. Think I will go and have a chat to HR to confirm this! Good luck.

theidsalright Wed 27-Jul-11 13:17:43

I'm NHS. In our organisation you don't accrue bank holidays during mat leave (I specifically asked).

Treats Wed 27-Jul-11 13:24:09

It depends what's contractual and what's discretionary. Technically, BH can be discretionary leave, unless - as in icravecheese's case (and in mine) they're included as part of the contractual holiday, or your entitlement to leave on BH is otherwise written into your Ts and Cs. Likewise, Christmas shutdown, etc. might be part of a discretionary arrangement.

Contract law is funny though. In addition to what's written, it can be argued that what is implied, or what is general practice is also part of your contract, so you might have an argument, although if it's expressly written that BH are excluded, possibly not.

In our company, we included BH as part of contractual holiday entitlement to take us up to the 28 days statutory req't, so you should be entitled to at least this much paid holiday each year in addition to your mat leave. If excluding BH takes you beneath that, there's definitely an argument that BH leave is part of your contractual entitlement.

Good luck!!

bennybenbear Wed 27-Jul-11 13:32:25

Thanks Treats, that's what I think. It's not just implied it's what happens! It is even pro rata'd for part time staff so I can't see any argument against.

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