UK Bank Holidays in 2022

Last updated on 17.01.2022

It's a new year, and with that comes a brand new chance to make holiday plans for the year ahead.

Before you start dreaming of white sandy beaches, crystal blue waters, or simply putting your feet up, it's important to know what your holiday entitlement actually looks like. 

We noticed how popular our last annual leave article was, so we took it upon ourselves to offer another to talk about how this year's annual leave will land while providing a much-needed element of national service during these gloomy winter months.

So here it is - all the bank holidays you need to know for 2022.

Holiday entitlement

The statutory entitlement for an employee who works five or more days per week is 28 days; employees who work 1-4 days per week are entitled to 5.6 weeks annual leave, which is calculated as:

The number of days worked X 5.6 weeks = minimum annual leave entitlement for the year.

However, there have been some minor changes regarding holiday carryover due to the pandemic. 

Because of the events that transpired in the last two years, many employees were unable or unwilling to take all of their holiday entitlement. 

A temporary new law was introduced in 2020 to help ensure that employees did not miss out on their entitlement. Allowing employees to carry up to four weeks' paid holiday (in line with the Working Time Directive) into the following two holiday years, this year will be the last year this rule will apply.

This carry-forward legislation change does not apply to the full 5.6 weeks’ statutory entitlement and only applies to the first four weeks; nevertheless, employers are allowed to choose whether to carry forward the additional 1.6 weeks if they wish to.

How is holiday entitlement calculated?

Part-time and full-time employees will have different holiday entitlements. But despite the varying amounts, the calculation for working out the statutory minimum is straightforward and always exactly the same.

First, take the number of holiday days and divide it by the months in a year. That will provide the number of holiday days someone is entitled to each month.

Annual leave calculation

Number of days holiday / by months in a year = Y

28 days / 12 = 2.33 holiday entitlement days per month

Typically, annual leave years run from January to December. Therefore, if an employee joins a company halfway through the year, the calculation will have an additional element. 

Let’s say an employee starts their new job at the beginning of September. Then you’ll need to multiply their holiday entitlement by the number of months remaining in the leave year. So in this instance, there would be four.

Partial year annual leave calculation for new starters

Y * by number of remaining months (September to December) = Holiday entitlement

2.33 x 4 = 9.33 holiday entitlement days for the remainder of the year

As this number includes a fraction of a day, it needs to be rounded up to the next half day. The person in this example would therefore be entitled to 9.5 days.

Holiday entitlement myths

Although holiday entitlement may seem a little complex, it really isn't!

The important thing to remember about annual leave is that all full-time employees are entitled to the equivalent of 28 days’ annual leave a year.

Many people believe that of the 28 days of annual leave, eight are automatically given for bank holidays. The truth is that there is no statutory entitlement to be paid for bank holidays; instead, employers have the right to decide when someone takes their annual leave. 

Employees do not have a statutory right to paid leave on bank holidays. Any right to time off or extra pay for working on those days is entirely dependent on the terms stipulated in an employment contract.

As a result, many employers choose to remain closed on bank holidays and therefore allocate bank holidays in their employees’ annual leave entitlement.

UK bank holidays 2022 

In the UK, England and Wales share the same public holidays. However, there are additional holidays for those in Scotland and Northern Ireland to celebrate their patron saints or other important national events.

There are, however, certain bank holidays that all four countries have in common. These include New Year’s Day, Good Friday, the early May bank holiday, the Spring bank holiday, and, of course, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Bank Holidays in 2022Day of the weekDateWho’s off?
New Year’s DayMonday3rd of January (substitute day)The whole of the UK
New Year’s HolidayTuesday4th of January (substitute day)Scotland
St Patricks’s dayThursday17th of MarchNorthern Ireland
Good FridayFriday15th of AprilThe whole of the UK
Easter MondayMonday18th of AprilEngland, Wales & Northern Ireland
Early May Bank HolidayMonday2nd of MayThe whole of the UK
Spring Bank HolidayThursday2nd of JuneThe whole of the UK
Queen’s Platinum JubileeFriday3rd of JuneThe whole of the UK
Battle of the BoyneTuesday12th of JulyNorthern Ireland
Summer Bank HolidayMonday1st of AugustScotland
Summer Bank HolidayMonday29th of AugustEngland, Wales & Northern Ireland
St Andrew’s DayWednesday30th of NovemberScotland
Christmas DayTuesday27th of December (substitute day)The whole of the UK
Boxing DayMonday26th of DecemberThe whole of the UK

What is different from 2021?

Last Christmas landed on the weekend, so we were lucky to get the substitute holidays and therefore only needed to take a couple of days off to get two weeks off.

This year, however, we get an extra bank holiday! The May bank holiday weekend will be moved to Thursday 2nd of June. There will also be an additional bank holiday on Friday 3rd of June will be a four-day weekend to celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee - the first time any British monarch has reached this historic milestone.

What does this mean for employers?

Whether or not an employee automatically has a right to a paid day off for the additional bank holiday will depend on the wording in the employment contract.

If the employment contract states that all bank holidays are included as part of the annual leave entitlement, and there is not an exhaustive list of dates, then the employee would be entitled to the day off; however, if the employment contract states that a number of bank holidays are included, or a list of exhaustive dates is included then the employee would not be automatically entitled to the additional paid bank holiday.

What about PayFit? 

At PayFit, we aim to simplify the lives of both employers and employees. PayFit is not only an intuitive and easy-to-use payroll software; it also offers features such as leaves and absences management. Both admins and employees have access to their own portals. Employees can make their annual leave requests while also having visibility over their team’s calendar. Admins and managers can then approve or refuse annual leave requests. The leave balance is then automatically updated on the employee space which is reflected on the employee's payslip.

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