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  • Writer's pictureSusan Wakelin

How will the King's coronation effect employers?

Updated: May 25, 2023

King Charles III's coronation is on Saturday, 6 May 2023.

Saturday, 6 May 2023

Many businesses will decide to close for the day of the King's coronation, but do they have to?

Saturdays are often one of the busiest days for those businesses that open at the weekend, and the decision to close for the coronation is generally at the discretion of each employer. Businesses may base their decision on many different reasons, such as they predict that they will be quieter than usual on that day or that they just want to give their employees the time off to celebrate.

How does it effect employees when their employer closes for the Coronation?

The King's coronation is on Saturday, 6 May, however, this is not a bank holiday. The bank holiday is on Monday, 8 May 2023. This means that the day of the coronation is a normal working day for those that would normally work on a Saturday.

Employers may consider shutting down their operations for the day, however, they will need to review their contracts of employment to understand whether this day can be taken as part of an employee's normal annual leave entitlement or whether the Company should offer a paid day off in addition to annual leave.

How does it effect employees when their employer stays open for the Coronation?

Some businesses may decide to stay open on the day of the coronation, especially where they expect to be busier than usual. In this case, employees who would like to take the day off should submit a holiday request in line with the Company's usual procedures. Where holiday requests are submitted, the employer may need to decline one or more of the requests to ensure that they have enough staff to cover for the day.

Employees that usually work on a Saturday, will generally be paid their usual daily rate for that day, however, employers will need to check contracts of employment to ensure that they pay their employees correctly for working the coronation weekend.

In addition to this, employers may need to ask employees who do not usually work on Saturdays to work. In this case, where employers are struggling to get volunteers, they may wish to consider an incentive, such as offering enhanced pay or providing additional paid time off at another time.

Where employees are working on Saturday, 6 May, employers may wish to consider allowing them to join in the celebrations. Depending on the industry, the work performed and any health and safety requirements, options may include, allowing employees to watch the coronation at work where it is televised or to listen to it on the radio. If this is not possible, whilst employees are working, employers may consider flexible hours that day or longer breaks. Some employers may also consider arranging a party at the workplace. However, in this case, employers should ensure that employees understand whether or not they are still required to work and the expected standards of conduct and behaviour, especially where alcohol is involved. In addition to this, those that do not wish to join in the celebrations, should be respected.

Is Monday, 8 May 2023 a normal bank holiday?

Monday, 8 May is a normal bank holiday and employers will need to check their contracts of employment to understand whether or not their employees are entitled to an additional day's paid holiday. Where employees' holiday entitlement states that they are entitled to all bank holidays, they will be entitled to the additional bank holiday. However, where holidays and bank holidays are detailed specifically in the contract of employment, ie 20 days plus 8 bank holidays or 5.6 weeks holiday, employees may not be entitled to the additional day. That said, employers may decide to give their employees an additional bank holiday for the coronation, regardless of whether they are contractually entitled to it or not.

Where the employer remains open on Monday, 8 May, some employees may need to take the day off due to difficulty with their childcare. It is important to note that employees do have a statutory right to take time off for dependants. Where employers are unable to give those with care responsibilities time off, they could consider allowing them to work from home, if possible, or finding alternative arrangements, such as asking another employee who is scheduled to be off that day, to work.

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SWan HR provides a broad range of tailored HR services including an HR audit, HR advice, HR outsourcing, HR coaching and project work for all businesses.

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