Bank holidays 2023 | UK

4 January 2023

UK bank holiday

The United Kingdom is one of the most popular destinations for holidaymakers, and 2023 promises to be a great year for taking advantage of bank holidays throughout the UK. With a variety of public holidays, ranging from Early May bank holiday to Christmas Day and more, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy some extra days off work or school in 2023. 

Whether you're planning a short break or an extended holiday, a bank holiday is the perfect time to visit friends and family, explore new places or just relax. So why not make the most of it in 2023 by taking advantage of UK bank holidays? Here's a quick overview of all the dates for your convenience.

Confirmed Bank Holidays In England And Wales

In the United Kingdom, a bank holiday is a public holiday recognized throughout the country. The government sets the dates of these holidays, which may vary from year to year. In 2022, the Boxing Day holiday was on a Monday, while Christmas Day was on a weekend which was substituted for December 27th on a Tuesday, marking the end of a long Christmas day bank holiday for the year and bankers are already looking forward to next year's festive period.

Number of UK Bank Holidays in 2023

There are eight permanent bank holiday dates that banks have to uphold each year, but following recent events, there will be an extra bank holiday in 2023 for the coronation of King Charles III. Downing Street confirmed the holiday in November, two days after the coronation at Westminster Abbey. 

Here is a list of the next bank holiday dates in the England and Wales for 2023: 

  • New year's day (substitute day) – January 2nd 

It is celebrated on January 1st each year (first bank holiday) and marks the beginning of the new year, but it was pushed to the 2nd because it falls on a weekend. There are a variety of traditional customs and activities associated with New Year's Day, including the singing of "Auld Lang Syne," the exchange of gifts, and the making of resolutions for the new year. 

  • Good Friday – 7th April and Easter Monday – 10th April

Both Good Friday and Easter Monday are observed as public holidays in the United Kingdom, and most businesses and public organizations are closed on these days. Easter Monday and Good Friday are Christian holidays that are observed to commemorate the crucifixion and rise of Jesus Christ. Many people take the day off to participate in traditional activities and customs, such as attending Good Friday church services, giving gifts, and decorating Easter Monday eggs. Good Friday, Easter Sunday, and Easter Monday are typically three bank holidays in one weekend.

  • Early May bank holiday Monday – May 1st

The Early May Bank Holiday is a public holiday in the United Kingdom that is recognized and protected by law. It is observed on the first Monday in May each year, giving it the popular name of ealry may bank holiday Monday. The Early May Bank Holiday is often used as an opportunity for people to enjoy outdoor activities and celebrate the start of spring. Early May bank holiday is a popular time for people to take short breaks and holidays, and many people use the long weekend to visit friends and family.

  • Bank holiday Monday for the coronation of King Charles III – May 8th

Downing Street confirmed the coronation of King Charles III will take place on May 6th, 2023, which will be on a Saturday. As a result, the bank holiday will be substituted on May 8th, the immediate Monday, giving employees an extra May bank holiday. The date is set to align with the bank holiday to mark Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation in 1953 and is among the confirmed UK bank holidays of 2023. Unlike the summer bank holiday Monday or the early May bank holiday, the coronation of a new King will be a unique moment for everyone in the UK where people can pay tribute to King Charles III by participating in local and national events. 

  • Spring bank holiday Monday – May 29th

Spring bank holiday is observed on the last Monday in May each year which is why it's popularly known as spring bank holiday Monday. There are a variety of traditional activities and customs associated with the Spring Bank Holiday Monday, including the holding of festivals and parades.

  • Summer bank holiday Monday – August 28th

The Summer Bank Holiday Monday also known as August bank holiday is often used as an opportunity for people to enjoy outdoor activities and celebrate the end of summer. It is a popular time for people to take short breaks and holidays, and many people use the long weekend to visit friends and family or to enjoy outdoor pursuits. It is one of the eight permanent Bank holidays in the UK and is observed on the last Monday in August each year.

  • Christmas day – 25th December and Boxing day – 26th December

Christmas day is observed on December 25th and is a Christian holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Christmas day is highly popular and is observed globally. On the other hand, Boxing Day is observed on December 26th each year and is a holiday with various meanings and origins. In the UK, Boxing Day is traditionally a day for giving gifts to those in need, such as the poor or the elderly.

Scotland and Northern Ireland Bank Holidays

In Scotland, the new year celebrations will continue up to January 3rd, giving bankers three bank holidays as the first bank holiday. January 1st will be on the weekend, which will be substituted on the 3rd, on a Tuesday because January 2nd is also a holiday, but it falls on a Monday. Scotland also enjoys an extra bank holiday on November 30th to mark St. Andrew's Day and will celebrate their summer bank holiday much earlier on August 7th. However, Easter Monday is not considered a bank holiday in Scotland. 

In Northern Ireland, the bank holidays are similar to England and Wales, except for two additional confirmed bank holidays. On March 17th, North Ireland celebrates St Patrick's Day, and on July 12th, they celebrate the Battle of the Boyne (Orangemen's Day). St Patrick's day is among the most celebrated bank holiday in North Ireland

Are UK Bank Holidays Recognized Legally

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In the United Kingdom, bank holidays are public holidays that are legally recognized and protected by law. The are eight permanent confirmed UK bank holidays each year: New Year's Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, May Day, Spring Bank Holiday, Summer Bank Holiday, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day. There will be an extra early may bank holiday Monday in 2023 for coronation of king Charles III, making it nine bank holidays in 2023

These bank holidays are established by the Bank Holidays Act of 1871, which allows certain holidays to be designated as bank holidays in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The Act allows the government to designate additional bank holidays in these countries as needed. For example, there are Wales bank holidays which differ from Scotland bank holidays.

In Scotland, bank holidays are established by the Banking and Financial Dealings Act of 1971. This Act sets out the bank holidays recognized in Scotland, including New Year's Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, May Holiday Monday, Spring Bank Holiday Monday, the first Monday in August, and Christmas Day, among other additional bank holiday.

Overall, public holiday dates in the UK are recognized and protected by law, and most businesses and public organizations are required to close on these days, particularly on New Year's Day, Good Friday, Easter, May Day, Spring Bank Holiday Monday, Summer Bank Holiday Monday, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and the extra May bank holiday for the coronation of King Charles III.

Do Bank Holidays Fall Under Paid Time Off

In the United Kingdom, the rights and entitlements of employees regarding paid time off on bank holidays depend on their employment contract and employer's policies. Some employers may give employees paid time off on bank holidays as part of their annual leave entitlement. In contrast, others may require their employees to work on bank holidays and provide additional pay or time off in lieu of this.

Under UK law, all employees are entitled to a minimum of 5.6 weeks of paid annual leave each year, which includes bank holidays. This is equivalent to 28 days for a full-time employee and pro-rata for part-time employees. The leave entitlement for part-time workers is calculated on a pro-rata basis, based on the number of hours they work each week. If an employee works on a bank holiday, they are entitled to receive either an additional day off in lieu or additional pay, depending on the terms of their employment contract and the policies of their employer.

The entitlements set out in the Working Time Regulations 1998 apply to most workers in the UK, including full-time and part-time employees, agency workers, and workers on casual or zero-hours contracts. The regulations also provide additional entitlements, such as paid time off for public holidays and time taken off work for certain events or circumstances, such as caring for a sick child.

Employees need to understand their rights and entitlements regarding annual leave and other forms of paid time off and to discuss any questions or concerns they may have with their employer. Employers are also responsible for ensuring that they provide their employees with the leave entitlements set out in the Working Time Regulations and for keeping accurate records of the leave taken by their employees.

What Are The Consequences Of Not Observing UK Bank Holidays

In the United Kingdom, there are no legal consequences for individuals who do not observe bank holidays. Bank holidays are public holidays recognized and protected by law, and most businesses and organizations must close these days. However, there are no legal consequences for individuals who choose not to observe bank holidays or engage in activities normally prohibited on these days, such as working or conducting business.

However, certain businesses and organizations may be required to close on bank holidays, depending on their nature and the laws and regulations that apply to them. For example, many retailers and other businesses that provide goods or services to the public are required to close on bank holidays. Businesses are expected to be low for two bank holidays for the coronation of King Charles III. If a business fails to close on a bank holiday when required, it may be subject to fines or other penalties.

Employees' consequences of not observing bank holidays may depend on their employment contract and employer's policies. Some employers may require their employees to work on bank holidays and may offer additional pay or time off in lieu of this. Other employers may give their employees the day off on bank holidays and may not require them to work. In either case, employees need to understand their rights and responsibilities regarding bank holidays and any applicable policies and procedures set out by their employer.

Conclusion

It is important for businesses and organizations to understand their obligations and responsibilities regarding bank holidays and to comply with any applicable laws and regulations. Employees are entitled to a minimum of 5.6 weeks of paid annual leave each year, which includes Bank holidays. Employers are responsible for providing their employees with the leave entitlements set out in the Working Time Regulations.

If you are looking for an easy way to manage your employee leave and absence, Shiftbase can help. Shiftbase is a cloud-based leave and absence management platform that allows you to easily track, approve, and manage employee leave requests, as well as monitor employee attendance and absence. With Shiftbase, you can ensure that your business stays compliant with the laws and regulations governing Bank holidays and other forms of paid time off.

Contact us today to schedule a demo. 

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