In May 2006, the Government confirmed its intention to introduce measures to provide that bank and public holidays are not included in the statutory entitlement to four weeks’ paid holiday per year, under the Working Time Regulations 1998.
There are eight permanent bank and public holidays in Great Britain and the Government wishes to counteract the current anomaly whereby it is generally lower paid workers who have these days included in their annual holiday entitlement.
Instead of giving workers a legal entitlement to time off on bank and public holidays, the intention now is to introduce legislation to increase the current statutory minimum holiday entitlement for full-time workers from 20 to 28 days.
It is proposed that statutory annual leave entitlement should be increased in two stages, rising from 20 to 24 days on 1 October 2007, and from 24 to 28 days on 1 October 2008.
The DTI estimates that up to six million workers will benefit from the changes, with women, part-time workers, low-paid workers and workers from minority and ethnic communities most likely to benefit.
Further information can be found on the DTI website.