Can I make my member of staff work bank holidays?

Question:  I run a small bar in london, it going well however every time there is a Bank holiday I always have a problem getting  my members of staff  to work were do I stand legally can I make them work Bank holidays?

Answer:  Legally there is no compuntion for you to offer time of for employees on bank holidays as long as they get their minimum paid holiday of 5.6 working weeks a year if their contract of employment does not state specifically that they have to work bank holidays staff can be required to work it.

In the absence of a contract which you are  now are legally required to offer and over the years if it is normal practice that employees expect to be able to take bank holiday off, if you force an employee to work bank holiday this will constitute a breach of contract and potentially the employeee could resign and claim constructive dismissal.   So  in these circumstances it should be agreed with employees preferably in writing that they would be willing to work the bank holiday however if they dont you cannot sack them or instigate any form of disaplinary as the implied term which if not kept to could and would constitute a breach of  contract.

On a lighter note the last thing I want to see when I am in a bar is misable bar staff ,  so how about you offer your members of staf a bonus for working bank holidays or even get  temps in.