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Bank holiday key facts for a small business owner

This weekend will mark the last bank holiday of the summer and many small business owners and employees will be making the most of it, come rain or shine! If you are uncertain about keeping your business open during bank holidays, we have outlined some key information to help you make your decision.

Know your rights. Unlike larger chains and shops, small shops have the right to open any day and any hour of the year. A small shop is defined as one that measures up to and including 280 square metres. A shop that is over 280 square metres must close on Easter Sunday and Christmas Day. They can trade on Sundays but only for six consecutive hours between 10am and 6pm.

Think about how your business will be financially affected by closing on a bank holiday. According to Business Advice small business owners forfeit £2,163 annually in choosing to close their business on every UK bank holiday. Research has shown that 70 per cent of Britan’s workforce are considering adopting a less rigid working pattern. Therefore, many employees are much more flexible about working bank holidays and outside of the standard 9-5 working hours.

There are no statutory rights for employees to receive extra pay for working bank holidays, however it is up to you as a small business owner whether you choose to reward your employees by offering the incentive of extra pay for working public holidays.  Financial incentives and other small perks, such as a free lunch, can help to boost your team’s morale and productivity throughout the day. 

On the other hand, closing your business on a bank holiday can be a great incentive to include in your recruitment to attract potential employees, as holidays are an important factor to many people when choosing a job.

Following the August bank holiday the only public holiday left in 2017 will be Christmas. Take a look at to help you prepare for 2018 bank holidays.


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