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Jenny McKenzie
Jenny McKenzie,
Category: UK Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 6307
Experience:  10 Years of experience in Employment Law and HR
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can my employer force me to work on xmas day, boxing day, new

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can my employer force me to work on xmas day, boxing day, new years day and easter sunday without paying extra rate of pay or giveing me a day off in compensation?

Hello and welcome to Just Answer,


How many days annual leave per year does your employer give?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
25 days annual leave xmas holidays have been rewarded with a day off and bank holidays are still being recognized but htis year as xmas and new year are on a weekend we are being forced to work for no extra pay
Can i just clarify that your holiday is 25 days PLUS the bankholidays (which have not fallen on a weekend)?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
yes that is correct
Are you normally required to work weekends as part of your normal working week?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
no we are not we work mon to fri, weekends and evenings are done on a callout basis and we are paid a standby rate plus per call out
So is your employer proposing to pay you this rate? Is this work optional either normally or at xmas?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

we are being offered the normal saturday / sunday rate for xmas new years day but those working the bank hol i.e. mon 27th will be paid the bank holiday rate plus a day off

Is this compulsory or optional?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
if we are picked this is compulsory

ok, what he is doing is not illegal but I agree it does not seem very fair.


The legal requirement is that a person is entitled to 28 days holiday in total (including bank holidays). There is no law which says that you must be allowed a day off on a statutory holiday day or that if you work you should be allowed additional time off in lieu or that you should be paid an enhanced rate. Give that the fact you are being asked to work but this does not effect your 28 day holiday entitled there is nothing you can do if your employer refuses to give you the same time off as afforded to those working the bank holiday monday.


This does not foster good employment relations though, if I were you I would get together with your colleagues and raise a group grievance. If you all refuse to work on these terms then he may see fit to change his mind.


I would be grateful if you would press ACCEPT so that i may be credited for answering your question. I will then leave the question open to answer your follow on questions for free.

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