Bank holiday for the funeral of the Queen

Working recommendations for doctors during coming public holiday 

Location: UK
Published: Thursday 15 September 2022
Queen Elizabeth II in carriage

The UK Government has declared Monday 19 September will be an additional bank holiday to allow people to observe the funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

There is no statutory entitlement for time off on such bank holidays, so the arrangements are subject to local decision making by employers.

Guidance has been published by NHS England about the bank holiday in the context of primary care, noting that ‘primary care professionals and their teams will want to pay their respects on this day wherever possible’ while setting out expectations for ensuring there is ongoing access available to certain NHS primary care services.

In relation to secondary care, NHS Employers has indicated that its expectation is that this additional bank holiday will be honoured in the NHS, as was the case with the additional bank holiday to commemorate the Platinum Jubilee.

This additional bank holiday will therefore be treated the same as any other public holiday and will constitute premium time, attracting enhanced rates for all staff subject to medical contracts who are required to work on Monday 19 September. Those who are required to work on this day should receive a day off in lieu.


Less-than full time

For those who work on a LTFT basis, the BMA has argued that public holidays should not be subject to the same pro-rata arrangements as other types of leave.

Given that the purpose of this bank holiday is to allow people in the UK to pay their respects to the Queen, we do not think it is reasonable that they should be expected to use their annual leave allowance to supplement them taking the full day.

However, NHS Employers has indicated that where someone chooses to take a day of leave on a bank holiday which falls on a day they would normally work, they must take a day out of their combined annual leave allocation, which would be increased pro rata to recognise the additional bank holiday.


Doctors on parental leave

Additional bank holidays that are announced and scheduled to take place during an individual’s parental leave are counted towards the leave that they accrue over the course of that parental leave period.