In this blog, we’ll discuss what you need to consider when opening or closing your business, pay on the day, annual leave, and whether you can celebrate the King’s Coronation at work.

King’s coronation – opening or closing your business

You may be wondering whether your business needs to close on the day of the King’s coronation. It is not likely that any businesses will be required to close on the day. If your business usually opens on Saturdays, you’ll have to consider any changes to your normal arrangements in terms of staffing. Some businesses may decide to close, perhaps because they predict they will have no customers or because they would like to give their employees the day off to watch the ceremony. Ultimately, it is at the discretion of employers.


Pay on the day

If your employees work on King’s coronation day, you may be wondering if they should be paid extra. This will depend on the contract of employment, so you should always check to make sure the employee is paid correctly. Employees working on that Saturday who do not usually work on a Saturday may be entitled to more pay, so it’s worth checking. However, it is not likely that any contract will provide extra pay for an employee who normally works on Saturdays in these circumstances.


Annual leave on coronation day

Do you need to give staff the day off?

The answer is essentially no. It’s not a bank holiday, so it will be a normal working day for all those who would normally work on a Saturday or who are rota for working. You should apply your normal decision-making process on whether or not to allow annual leave to be requested on the day or if you will have to decline it.

For some businesses, they may see a spike in their trade on the day or weekend of the coronation, especially those in the hospitality industry. This may mean that as many staff members as possible are needed at work. If you need to stop staff from taking annual leave, the usual rules will apply around the coronation. Employers can designate days on which no annual leave can be taken by giving the minimum amount of notice. In practice, the more notice you can give, the better. Employees will then know that if they ask for annual leave on that day, it will be declined.

Can you stop staff from taking annual leave?

Yes, the usual rules will apply to annual leave around the King’s coronation. Employers can designate days on which no annual leave can be taken by giving the minimum amount of notice on this. The amount of notice required is the same as the number of days in question e.g. if no leave would be allowed on one day, one day’s notice is required. In practice, the more notice, the better. Employees will therefore know that if they ask for annual leave on that day, it will be declined.

Do you have to let employees cancel annual leave if their plans have changed because of the King’s coronation?

If your business is open on the day of the King’s coronation, you may receive requests from employees asking to cancel their pre-booked leave so that they can work instead because their plans have changed. You do not have to agree to the cancellation request, in which case the employee will still take the leave as they had originally planned. It’s advisable to agree wherever possible, but if there are business reasons which would mean that the cancellation would cause disruption, e.g., if you have already organised cover for the employee and it can’t be changed, then you should inform the employee that you are unable to accept the cancellation request.

Can employees be made to work?

You should check employee contracts to see where you stand in terms of flexibility on working hours. If your contracts state that employees may be required to work overtime or extra hours, or may be subject to a rota change, then it may be a reasonable instruction to require them to work extra hours, though you should take individual circumstances into consideration first, like childcare issues.


King's Coronation Annual Leave

Celebrating the King’s Coronation at Work

Whether or not your staff can watch the coronation at work will depend on your operational requirements. You may be able to organise a showing of the ceremony at work either in a common room or by allowing employees to watch it from their desks if there are TV screens around the workplace.

It’s important to note that you will need a TV licence registered at the workplace if you are to show it on television. You could agree with the employees that they take longer breaks and make the time up later on or on another day, or change their start, finish and break times so that they can watch it. If it isn’t feasible to watch the ceremony, you may agree to have the radio on and listen to the proceedings.

If there is no such flexibility in contracts, you can start by simply asking employees if anyone would like to work the extra hours and earn more money. If this doesn’t provide a solution, consider offering an enhanced rate of pay or extra paid time off elsewhere in the calendar as an incentive. If you still find that the extra hours aren’t covered, you could consider using casual staff or agency workers.

It may be useful to review contracts for any new staff to ensure that flexibility on working hours is built in.


King's Coronation Bank Holiday

Bank holiday – Monday 8th May

Is the bank holiday for the King’s coronation treated the same as other bank holidays?

Yes, it should be. Most contracts are written in the context of the standard number of public/bank holidays in a year (8 in England/Wales and 9 in Scotland), but exact wording, and therefore exact entitlements, can differ from contract to contract.

If a contract in England says employees are entitled to time off on “8 public/bank holidays” per year and lists those days, there is no automatic entitlement to time off on the extra Bank Holiday. If the contract says employees are entitled to paid leave on “all public/bank holidays” in a leave year, they will have a contractual entitlement to the extra day. Even where contracts do not entitle employees to the day off, you may choose to offer it as a paid day of leave anyway. If you are not closing on Monday, 8th May, you can ask employees who want the day off to make a request in line with the normal annual leave procedure.

What if too many employees want the bank holiday off?

If your employees have to book time off if they want a bank holiday, and you’ve had a lot of requests for a day off on the Coronation Bank Holiday, it’s likely a Bank Holiday is treated like a normal working day in your business which means you will need to think about the same things for allowing time off on this day as you would any other day. You will need to balance time off with your need to operate effectively on the day. If you are able to extend normal annual leave caps where possible, you should consider this so that employees can celebrate the occasion.

However, employees should realise that it is a request that they have put in, and so there is the possibility that it will be declined and they will be required to work. Most employers deal with annual leave requests on a first-come, first-served basis; this ensures fairness across the system and enables you to keep constant track of how many people you have off at any one time.

What if you already have too many people off on the bank holiday, but an employee asks for time off because their child’s school is closed?

There are a few things that you could consider to make sure that everyone’s needs are met. Because the employee has the right to take time off for dependants if there is an unexpected breakdown in their childcare arrangements, the employee may have no other option but to take the day off under this statutory right if they are unable to make alternative arrangements, which will then impact your operations on that day, so it would be best to try to find some other arrangement so that she can still work.

If their role is one that can be carried out from home, you could agree that they work from home on that day. Alternatively, you could check in with employees who have leave booked to see if there is anyone willing to change their plans, although they shouldn’t be forced to. Offering a small incentive may encourage them to agree to work for that day. You could also see if there is anyone from another department or team who is working on that day who could cover for the employee in order for her to take a day of annual leave.

What are you doing as a business to celebrate the King’s coronation?

Employers can hold a party in the workplace to mark the coronation of King Charles III, and whether it is during work time or outside of work time is up to them. If it’s during work time, employers would need to be clear with employees on what their expectations are for productivity and performance while still being able to enjoy the festivities. However, employers should keep in mind that not everyone will want to attend a coronation party, so they should not force everyone to be involved.

If serving food and drink, employers should ensure that there is a variety of types to cater for dietary requirements, for example, vegetarian, vegan, and halal options. If serving alcohol at an out-of-work-hours party, employers should also provide non-alcoholic drinks, as well as remind employees about acceptable behaviour and the potential consequences of this.

Are there any businesses out there doing something special for the coronation? We’d love to hear about your plans and how you’re celebrating this historic occasion! And if you’re a business owner planning something special for the King’s coronation, don’t forget to share your plans with us!


New call-to-action
Share This