Employment

Bank holiday: Will you get a day off for the Queen’s funeral? 

Brits are mourning the passing of the Queen, but does your boss have to give you the bank holiday off to mark her funeral?

Large crowds have gathered outside Buckingham Palace to lay flowers and tributes to the Queen. Image: Samuel Regan-Asante / Unsplash

King Charles has announced a bank holiday on the day of the Queen’s state funeral.

This is to allow people to pay their respects to Her Majesty and commemorate her reign, while marking the final day of national mourning.

The funeral service will take place at Westminster Abbey in London on Monday September 19. For four days before the service, the Queen’s coffin will lie in state in Westminster Hall, allowing the public to pay their respects.

The last royal funeral in the UK was Prince Philip’s in April 2021. He was given a royal ceremonial funeral, rather than a state funeral, the most recent of which was held for Winston Churchill in 1965. 

There have been no other state funerals since, leaving many unsure of the protocol. So we’ve answered some of the questions.

Do you get a day off work for the Queen’s funeral?

The day of the Queen’s funeral has been designated a “day of national mourning” but there is no obligation for employers to give their workers the day off.

“This bank holiday will operate in the same way as other bank holidays, and there is no statutory entitlement to time off”, a spokesperson for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has said. 

“However, we would expect that many workers will be able to take the day off on the bank holiday. We also expect employers to respond sensitively to requests from workers who wish to take the day of the funeral off work”, the statement continues. 

Will schools be closed on the day of the Queen’s funeral?

Schools have been instructed to close on September 19, so that pupils and teachers can mark the historic occasion.

The Department for Education has told schools the Queen’s funeral will be a bank holiday so “settings that are normally closed on a bank holiday should close on this day as a mark of respect. This will include schools and colleges.”

What will it be like for those travelling to London on the bank holiday?

The Cabinet Office has warned that people travelling in, out and around London may face crowding and public transport delays as people travel to pay their respects to the Queen.

The Foreign Office will be preparing to welcome heads of state and other key figures from abroad who will be attending the funeral. 

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The Home Office will be responsible for making security arrangements for the funeral and will be on high alert in case of any potential terror threats in the run-up to, or during, the event itself.

Policing the event is likely to stretch resources given the number of people likely to attend. 

According to the documents seen by Politico, the days leading up to the funeral and the day itself could see an enormous amount of travel chaos in and around London.

Thousands of people will be attempting to travel to London for the funeral, which could cause delays and congestion on roads and on public transport. 

Unions have cancelled upcoming industrial action out of respect to the passing of Queen Elizabeth, with Royal Mail and railway workers strikes all called off. 

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