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Forward planning and good communication can prevent Jubilee leave hassles

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee this summer will usher in a host of celebrations across the country. However, the creation of a four-day Jubilee weekend with two back-to-back bank holidays will mean that many employers are facing extra leave requests from staff.

To mark the Jubilee, there will be an extra bank holiday on Tuesday 5 June 2012. The last bank holiday in May has also been moved to Monday 4 June, effectively creating a four-day weekend. Many people will want to book time off over this period, either to go away or to join in the celebrations. Most schools will also be closed, so employees with families may have problems securing childcare.

Clear communication with employees and effective forward planning will be essential to avoid last-minute leave requests and clashes, and can also help reduce the risk of unplanned absences. Being as fair and consistent as possible will be vital to avoid damaging staff morale.

It's important to remember that employees do not automatically have the right to bank or public holidays unless expressly stated in their contract. Employers will want to consider whether or not to award staff an extra paid holiday this year, or ask staff to take paid leave, or offer the option of taking unpaid leave. Whether or not an employee has the right to extra pay for working a bank holiday also depends on their individual contract. While many employers do offer extra pay as an incentive for staff to work bank holidays, this is not a statutory right.

The Diamond Jubilee will take place just weeks before the 2012 Olympics kick off in London, creating an additional challenge for employers with staff who are taking time off to volunteer as 'games makers'. Acas has produced advice for employers on period, and is also offering training for employers in managing the impact of the Olympic Games on the workplace.

Visit the Acas training and business solutions area for more information.

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