Government changes May Day 2020 bank holiday to coincide with VE Day anniversary

May is a month most working people look forward to because we’re treated to not one, but two, bank holiday Mondays.

But come 2020, that’s going to change. Don’t worry, we’re still getting two bank holidays (phew!) but the early May bank holiday – which usually falls on the first Monday of May – is being moved for one year only, is moving to a Friday instead. Friday 8 May to be exact.

Update your diaries.

Why is the bank holiday moving?

8 May 2020 is the 75th anniversary of VE Day – which marks the end of World War Two, when fighting against Nazi Germany came to an end in Europe.

Moving the bank holiday will mean the country gets the day off on the anniversary of VE Day itself and will form part of a three-day weekend of commemorative events planned.

This isn’t the first time the May Day bank holiday has been moved though. 24 years ago, back in 1995, the bank holiday was moved from 1 to the 8 May, to mark the 50th Anniversary of VE Day.

What are the rules about bank holidays?

There’s loads of misconceptions around bank holidays, especially what employees are legally entitled to. And it can make working out annual leave even more confusing.

But don’t worry. Just click on the titles below to get the lowdown on exactly what you need to know:


There’s no legal entitlement to paid bank holidays.

It’s down to you as an employer whether you offer bank holidays as paid leave. Just remember to fully outline your employees’ entitlement to paid leave in their contracts of employment.

You don’t have to pay extra if people work on a bank holiday.

This is a common myth, but if an employee works on a public or bank holiday they’re not legally entitled to double pay or time and a half. If you do decide to pay people extra for working holidays, make sure it’s in their contract.

If you want to know all the details about bank holiday planning, visit our Four things every employer needs to know about bank holidays article.


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Beat the bank holiday bustle with Citation

If the idea of another bank holiday to deal with is making your head spin – or you just need a helping hand calculating annual leave entitlement and updating your contracts – the Citation team is always here for you.

If you want to find out how much more we can do for you, give one of our advisors a call today on 0345 844 1111 or drop us a note at

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