Prince Harry is set to wed Meghan Markle on Saturday 19th May and excitement is building amongst the general public. Everyone loves an excuse for a celebration, but as an employer, you’ve probably got a few questions about burning issues such as time off and allowing your workers to celebrate the occasion.
The good news is that you’ve come to the right place. Here’s what you really need to know ahead of Harry and Meghan’s big day…
A public holiday has not been granted
As soon as the engagement was announced, there was much speculation around whether a public holiday would be granted. Prime Minister Theresa May quickly put a stop to that though, commenting that the young royals getting hitched should be enough in itself to ‘cheer people up’.
Interestingly though, the couple settled on a Saturday, which is a move that breaks royal tradition. This allows them to largely avoid the public holiday argument and gives as many people as possible the chance to enjoy the day.
You have no legal obligations to offer time off
In the eyes of the law, Saturday 19th May will see business as usual for employers throughout the UK. You’re under no obligation to offer time off or relax any contractual terms. Unless, of course, you’ve stated otherwise in your contracts. You should handle any requests for time off in line with your existing people policies and practices.
Still though, a little bit of flexibility can go a long way when it comes to boosting morale and protecting your employer brand. If possible, you may decide that you want to allow staff an extra break to watch the coverage in the canteen, for example.
Any issues should be handled in line with your current people policies
What if a member of staff celebrates a little too hard and fails to turn up for duty the next day? Or what if they do come into work, but are clearly still inebriated from the night before? These are the kind of questions that we always hear when a national celebration is on the cards.
The answer is simple… You do nothing differently. You simply act in accordance with your existing people policies. Having robust and well-communicated practices will give you and your line managers the confidence to quickly and effectively handle any problems in accordance with best practice, and the law.
After a long, cold winter, the royal wedding could be just what we need to lift our spirits and start looking forward towards the spring. If you need to review your people policies get in touch. We can help you to make any necessary changes and provide you with the practical guidance you need.