Many of us will have Monday off work due to the Queen’s funeral being a bank holiday, but for the unlucky few who still have to clock on tomorrow, not turning up – unsurprisingly – can have some pretty serious consequences.
According to employment solicitor Alex Harper of Herrington Carmichael in Surrey, skipping work to watch the service on BBC, ITV or Sky (though not Channel 5, who are instead showing The Emoji Movie) could land you in hot water with your employer.
She told SurreyLive: “If you are supposed to be working on the bank holiday, if you simply don’t turn up, you are in breach of your employment contract.
“It’s not likely that your employer would fire you immediately if you do that, but you are almost certainly going to be in the territory of facing disciplinary action.
“For an employee who’s been there less than two years, the potential could be that they are ultimately dismissed for failing to appear at work when they were contractually obliged to do so.”
Ms Harper also warned ‘pulling a sickie’ would also get you in trouble if you’re found out, while taking out bereavement leave to grieve typically concerns the loss of a close family member.
She added employers could also have set a precedent for their employees if they were closed for previous royal bank holidays such as the late Queen’s platinum jubilee back in June, but have decided to stay open on Monday.
“I also think, as with all things, there’s a balancing act to be done here in terms of what you’re legally required to do, and what morally and practically you should do as an employer,” Ms Harper said.
Her Majesty’s coffin is currently lying-in-state in Westminster Hall in order for visitors to pay their respects, causing a queue with a wait time lasting at least 13 hours.
Details of how mourners could view the monarch’s funeral on Monday were released by the UK government on Saturday, with several large screens erected across the country to enable members of the public to watch the proceedings.
The state funeral will start at 11am, with 2,000 guests expected to attend the service at Westminster Abbey.
A two-minute national silence will take place at 11:55am before the coffin travels from the Abbey to Wellington Arch in London in a public procession from 12:15pm.
It will then be taken by the state hearse to Windsor, where the late monarch will be buried next to her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, in private.
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