This year, there is a special bank holiday to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. The 2012 late May bank holiday has been moved to Monday 4th June 2012 and an additional Jubilee bank holiday will be on Tuesday 5th June 2012.
The government, along with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), are encouraging employers to avoid using health and safety as an excuse to prevent celebrations from taking place. The Minister for Employment Chris Grayling said “Hang up the bunting and challenge anyone who says otherwise. Too often we hear stories of jobsworths out to spoil everyone’s fun especially at big occasions like the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee all in the name of so called health and safety. There is nothing in Health and Safety law to stop you celebrating in June. If you think someone is wrongfully using health and safety you can seek advice from the Myth Busters Challenge Panel.”
The Myth Busters Challenge Panel is an independent panel which has been set up by the HSE “to scrutinize complaints regarding the advice given by non-regulators such as insurance companies, health and safety consultants and employers and, quickly assess if a sensible and proportionate decision has been made“.
In terms of handling the holiday aspect of the Diamond Jubilee, these downloadable guidance notes consider what employers need to look at when establishing whether their employees have the right to treat the Diamond Jubilee as a normal bank holiday.