Bank holiday for Queen’s funeral; Mourning period employer responsibilities highlighted

Printweek team
Monday, September 12, 2022

Monday 19 September, the date of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s State Funeral, will be a national bank holiday, while also marking the final day of the period of national mourning.

Floral tributes have been laid to the Queen across the country, including at this statue of Her Majesty in Newmarket
Floral tributes have been laid to the Queen across the country, including at this statue of Her Majesty in Newmarket

The government said this will allow individuals, businesses, and other organisations to pay their respects to Her Majesty and commemorate her reign.

This bank holiday will operate in the same way as other bank holidays, and there is no statutory entitlement to time off. Employers may include bank holidays as part of a worker’s leave entitlement.

The bank holiday will apply in all parts of the UK.

In a statement, the government said: “The bank holiday will be a unique national moment, and we would encourage employers to respond sensitively to requests from workers who wish to take time off.”

In its FAQs section asking whether this means individuals can have the day off work on the bank holiday, the government answered: “This is a matter for discussion between individuals and their employer.

“There is no statutory entitlement to time off for bank holidays, but employers may include bank holidays as part of a worker’s leave entitlement.

“The government cannot interfere in existing contractual arrangements between employers and workers. However, we would expect that many workers will be able to take the day off on the bank holiday.”

A number of industry events are scheduled for next week, including The Print Show at the NEC in Birmingham, London Packaging Week at the Olympia and several customer events held by suppliers, although none of these were scheduled to start on Monday.

In a statement posted on its website today (12 September), The Print Show said: “Like millions of people across the UK and indeed around the world, everyone here at The Print Show was devastated to hear the news of Her Majesty the Queen’s passing last week, and our thoughts firmly remain with the Royal Family.

“Understandably, we have received a lot of phone calls and emails about The Print Show, given the timing of Her Majesty’s passing and the period of national mourning that was announced by King Charles III.

“Now that the date of the funeral has been announced for Monday 19 September, we can confirm that The Print Show will take place as planned from 20 to 22 September at the NEC in Birmingham.

“We understand the day of the funeral will now be a bank holiday and some businesses will allow staff to take the day off. Considering this will be the day immediately before The Print Show is due to begin, we will be running the final day of build-up as planned, with the hall to remain open to exhibitors to prepare for day one of the show the following day.

“We will be showing the funeral live on a large screen inside the hall for any exhibitors that wish to watch coverage of events in London, while dedicated prayer rooms will be open in the NEC for anyone wishing to use the facilities.

“We will also be respecting any nationwide moments of silence that are planned for the day. In addition, our hard-working organising team will be on site throughout the day to help and assist with any queries exhibitors may have about the show.

“While this is understandably a difficult period for the UK, The Print Show team remains committed to delivering an event that so many have looked forward to for such a long time.”

Immediately after news of the Queen’s passing was made public on Thursday evening, newspaper and magazine printers stepped up as publishers began to honour Her Majesty’s storied life. Yesterday, the Sunday papers all ran special supplements dedicated to the Queen, with details in the table below.

Brand Type Pagination Format
The Mail on Sunday Stitched magazine 48pp 270x208mm
The Sun on Sunday Stitched magazine 48pp 250x208mm
The Observer Newsprint pull-out 24pp Tabloid
Daily Star Sunday Newsprint pull-out 16pp Tabloid
Sunday Express Newsprint pull-out 32pp Tabloid
Sunday Mirror Newsprint pull-out 32pp Tabloid
The Sunday Telegraph Newsprint pull-out 30pp Broadsheet
The Sunday Times Newsprint pull-out 20pp Broadsheet

Separately, Printweek’s sister title HR magazine has highlighted employer responsibilities to staff during the 10-day mourning period.

It said that “although companies are under no obligation to suspend business during this period, according to official government guidance, many organisations across the country will be affected in some way”.

HR magazine quoted Liz Sebag-Montefiore, founder of HR consultancy 10eighty, as saying that businesses should be wary of the varying needs of their employees.

In case employees are affected by the news, she said businesses could signpost staff to employee assistance programmes (EAP).

"Failing EAP arrangements then perhaps an online forum where staff can share concerns and feelings would help. Some staff may want time off to pay their respects and HR will have to play [it] by ear because you need to be fair and not everyone will share the same reactions.

"I think we also need to be sensitive to the stronger feelings of some, just because not everyone shares those feelings does not invalidate them, but it is important to strike a happy balance.”

She noted that on top of other recent events like the pandemic, cost-of-living, energy crisis, war in Europe, climate change, and the new PM, losing a well-respected and liked monarch and having to get used to the idea of a king, new stamps, coins and more “stresses and discombobulates us”.

“At the moment we’re having to deal with all too much change and uncertainty,” she added.

The October/November issue of Printweek, out next month, will feature an extended briefing about caring for mental health and wellbeing in the print industry during these challenging times.

The entire Printweek team would like to pass on its condolences to the Royal Family and is proud to be part of an industry that is playing a pivotal role in celebrating Her Majesty’s life.

Printweek welcomes informed debate, but all comments must comply with our house rules which can be read here: A-Z of using the Printweek forums


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