Legislation overview

Bank holidays or public holidays are historically a rather strange legal concept, as bank holidays can be specified by Royal proclamation as well as by legislation in the usual way. The main Act governing bank holidays is the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971, though other relevant Acts include:

  • Christmas Trading Act 2004 
  • Working Time Regulations 1998 (SI 1998/1833), and 
  • Working Time (Amendment) Regulations 2007 (SI 2007/2079)
  • Deduction from Wages (Limitation) Regulations 2014 (SI 2014/3322). 

These Q&As deal specifically with the subject of bank and public holidays. For information on holidays generally, see our Annual leave and holiday pay Q&As.

Q: What exactly are bank holidays and public holidays?

Q: Is there a statutory right to paid leave on bank holidays or public holidays?

Q: How does an employer work out bank holiday and public holiday entitlement for part-time workers?

Q: Does an employer have to pay an employee who is on maternity leave or paternity leave for any bank or public holidays that accrue during these periods?

Q: What is an employee’s holiday entitlement when there is a special public or bank holiday?

Q: Do employers have to give employees bank holidays off if they coincide with a religious festival?

Q: Are there any future developments expected in the area of bank and public holidays?

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