Quarter Businesses Not Celebrating Royal Wedding

Thursday, 21 April 2011

One in four businesses is not giving staff the royal wedding as an extra holiday, a survey has revealed.

A survey of 1,500 SMEs across the UK found that only 69 per cent had decided to give staff the day off as an extra paid holiday, with nearly half of those (43 per cent) doing so begrudgingly as they didn't think that the event warranted a bank holiday.

Less than a third (31 per cent) of all businesses questioned thought that the royal celebration warranted an additional day off.

Peter Mooney, of business compliance specialist ELAS, said: "It seems that there won't be many street parties thrown by business owners on April 29.

"In fact, falling so closely after the Easter weekend and just before May Day, this extra day off is causing quite a lot of businesses serious headaches, not least over whether or not to give staff the day off at all.

"As it stands, all employees are entitled to a minimum of 28 days holiday a year - which for most people is usually split into 20 days annual leave plus eight bank holidays.            

"This year, there will be nine public holidays, but no change to the number of days off people are allowed - meaning that for many whose employers do close for the day, the extra public holiday will come out of their annual leave entitlement."

The survey also uncovered that less than two weeks before the event, six per cent of businesses were still undecided as to whether to take the additional bank holiday out of employees' annual leave entitlement, continue with business as normal, or to lose a day's work.

Mr Mooney added: "There is still an awful lot of confusion and indecision among SMEs about what to do regarding the unofficial royal wedding bank holiday and we predict that there will be the same confusion next year for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

"Businesses who aren't sure need to check their employment contracts to see whether staff are entitled to public holidays on top of an annual allowance, or whether bank holidays already come out of an overall entitlement."

ELAS looks after the employment law and business compliance needs of more than 2,000 small and medium sized businesses. For further advice, or to arrange an appointment with one of its consultants, call 0161 785 2000.

 

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