Is Good Friday a bank holiday? Easter weekend dates explained

Simon Calder warns of Easter travel chaos on UK roads

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The Easter weekend is almost upon us, with people across the UK eager to enjoy the long weekend. For many people, Good Friday is known as the beginning of the four-day break, but is it considered a bank holiday? Here’s what you need to know about the 2022 Easter weekend, including how the bank holiday dates will work for you.

Is Good Friday a bank holiday?

Good Friday is a significant date in the Christian calendar, but it also marks one of the most anticipated weekends of the year for hard-working Britons.

The four-day break which kicks off on Friday, April 15, means that people who work standard Monday to Friday hours enjoy two shorter working weeks back to back.

While Good Friday is often referred to as a bank holiday, it was in fact technically an existing common law holiday, and so didn’t require an official declaration when the 1871 Bank Holidays Act was introduced.

When is good Friday?

Good Friday is one of eight UK-wide bank holidays which takes place on the final Friday before Easter Sunday.

The exact date is calculated based on the first full moon after the spring equinox, with Easter Sunday always falling on the first Sunday after this celestial event.

This year, the Easter bank holiday weekend will take place over the following dates:

  • Good Friday – April 15, 2022 (bank holiday)
  • Holy Saturday – April 16, 2022
  • Easter Sunday – April 17, 2022
  • Easter Monday – April 18, 2022 (bank holiday)

While Saturday and Sunday are already considered ‘days off’ for most Brits, businesses are likely to implement bank holiday trading hours over the course of the weekend.

Who will benefit from the bank holiday dates?

According to Citizen’s Advice, it is down to your employer to decide whether or not you have to work on bank holidays.

The advice bureau said: “If your place of work is closed on bank holidays, your employer can make you take them as part of your annual leave entitlement.

“Some employers might give you bank holidays off and pay you for them on top of your annual leave entitlement. This will be outlined in your contract.”

If you do not have a contract of employment, you should raise the issue with colleagues or your employer to clarify your bank holiday entitlement.

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How will the bank holiday affect you?

While it is down to your employer to decide whether you can have time off on Good Friday and Easter Monday, a number of public services will change their hours over the weekend – which could affect your plans.

Royal Mail

There will be no Royal Mail postal collections or deliveries on Good Friday (15 April) or on Easter Monday (18 April).

The service should operate as normal on Holy Saturday, with standard business hours returning from Tuesday, April 19.

Health services

GP practices and pharmacies may operate reduced hours on Good Friday and Easter Monday, so it is worth checking your local services before visiting.

Travel

Railway passengers have been warned to avoid using train lines in the capital over the weekend with major disruption expected from Good Friday through to Easter Monday.

There are planned closures and engineering works on railways and tube lines in and around London and other parts of the UK.

Current advice is to check before you travel this weekend.

Supermarkets

Most of the UK’s major supermarkets will operate with reduced opening hours over the Easter weekend.

Tesco, Aldi, Lidl, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons will close on Easter Sunday, but you should check your local stores to clarify exact closures and opening hours near you.

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