Holiday Year and Bank Holidays 2018/2019 and 2019/2020

This may be a technicality but we thought it was important to point out for those employers who operate a 1st April to 31st March holiday year.

If your 2018/2019 holiday year is due to come to an end on 31st March 2019, you need to take note of this.

As Easter fell early in 2018 with Good Friday on 29th March and Easter Monday on 2nd April, the Easter bank holidays were split across the previous 2017/2018 and the current 2018/2019 holiday years.

For clarity, for the holiday year that commenced on 1st April 2018, the bank holidays were as follows: 2 April, 7 May, 28 May, 27 August, 25 December, 26 December and 1 January.

The eagle eyed ones amongst you will notice there were only 7 bank holidays within the period 1st April 2018 to 31st March 2019 holiday year. This means that your staff may only have had 27, not the legal minimum of 28 days in the year.

So what can you do about this? Check your contract of employment wording carefully around holiday entitlement. For example if it states that they are entitled to 20 days holiday plus 8 bank holidays/all bank holidays, then you will need to give them the additional days' holiday in this year to ensure they have had their full statutory entitlement for 2018/2019.

The alternative and perhaps more unpopular option could be to choose not to give employees one of the bank holidays in the current year and ask them to work (there is no automatic right to time off on a bank holiday) but this may not be practical if your business is usually closed and won't win you any popularity contests.

Whilst it isn't every year that these complications crop up, it may do again in the future so it would be wise to consider reviewing your contract of employment and decide whether you want to revise the wording to allow for holiday entitlement to be adjusted in this particular situation.

For ease of reference, the bank holiday dates for 2019/2020 if you operate a 1st April to 31st March holiday year are:

  • Friday, April 19: Good Friday.

  • Monday, April 22: Easter Monday.

  • Monday, May 6: Early May bank holiday.

  • Monday, May 27: Spring bank holiday.

  • Monday, August 26: Summer bank holiday.

  • Wednesday, December 25: Christmas Day.

  • Thursday, December 26: Boxing Day.

  • Wednesday, January 1: New Years Day.

Should you need support in reviewing your contract of employment, then reach out to us at

Please note our blog posts contain general information and are intended as guidance only and should not be taken as an authoritative or current interpretation of the law. Please ensure that you obtain advice tailored to your individual situation before taking action. These posts apply to the UK only.

#holiday #bank #statutoryentitlement #calendaryear

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