Employees are entitled to a minimum of 28 holidays per year including Bank Holidays.
As the Christmas holidays are fixed there is never a problem over the Yuletide period, but the Easter holidays change every year and this potentially poses a problem between Easter 2015 and Easter 2016 if your holiday calendar runs from 1st April to 31st March each year.
Easter Bank Holidays 2015 are Friday 3 April and Monday 6 April
Easter Bank Holidays 2016 are Friday 25 March and Monday 28 March
In cases where annual holidays run from 1 April to 31 March, employees will be entitled to an additional 2 bank holidays during the holiday year 1 April 2015 and 31 March 2016.
If your employees’ contract of employment provides for “20 days holidays plus bank holidays”, you will need to honour the contract even though the employee is receiving more than the statutory minimum or risk being in breach of contract. Additionally, during 2016/17 employees will still be entitled to 28 days statutory minimum even though there is no Easter break. Employers will need to top up the holiday entitlement in order to comply.
Employers in this situation will need to think about bearing the cost of the additional holiday pay or negotiating a variation to the contract with respect to 2015/16.