How bank holidays are created as UK to get day off for Queen’s funeral

·2-min read
The UK will enjoy an extra bank holiday in September to commemorate the Queen (Steve Parsons/PoolL/AFP via Getty Images)
The UK will enjoy an extra bank holiday in September to commemorate the Queen (Steve Parsons/PoolL/AFP via Getty Images)

The UK will get a bank holiday on Monday, September 19, on the day of the Queen’s funeral.

Schools, businesses, and government offices will be allowed to closed, allowing workers to watch the ceremony at Westminster Abbey.

In June, Brits enjoyed a four-day weekend for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. The late May bank holiday was moved to June 2, while the Jubilee bank holiday was celebrated on June 3 – giving the UK an extra day off.

Furthermore, it is expected that the UK will get another bank holiday next summer to celebrate the coronation of King Charles III.

But how are bank holidays created?

Why do we have bank holidays?

Bank holidays originated in the UK in 1871, when banks and financial institutions would take days off.

As time went on, businesses, schools, and the government joined in, and now bank holidays are celebrated by everyone.

While key workers and people who work in retail, hospitality, and the media may have to work bank holidays, they are often offered an extra day off in lieu.

How are bank holidays created?

Bank holidays are created under the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971 and include days specifically listed in the act as well as days proclaimed by the Queen.

The royal bank holiday proclamations usually change holidays to a different day – but occasionally add a holiday – and are announced every summer in The Gazette, which has been published since 1665 as the official public record.

For instance, the Platinum Jubilee bank holiday was created to celebrate 70 years of the Queen’s reign. Or, in this case, so the nation can watch the funeral of the Queen.

It was intended that an additional bank holiday can only take place as a one-off – but the Government has the power to make it an annual celebration.

How does the UK’s bank holidays compare to Europe?

England and Wales usually have eight bank holidays a year, while in 2021, Northern Ireland had 10 and Scotland had 11, according to the Trades Union Congress (TUC).

According to the TUC, every country in the EU has more public holidays than the UK, with the EU average being 12.8 days.

Romania, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Finland, and Cyprus have the most bank holidays, with 15 days each.