Christmas bank holidays UK 2021: what days at Xmas and New Year do we get off in England, Scotland, Wales, NI?

Regardless of whether the Omicron Covid variant cancels Christmas, these are the days you can lie back and not think about work

With Christmas adverts all over the telly and Mariah Carey creeping up the Official UK Singles Charts, it’s clear the festive season has well and truly arrived.

While news of the emergence of a new Covid variant called Omicron has dampened the mood, we can only hope that it doesn’t cancel Christmas like it did in 2020.

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Indeed, you might already be thinking ahead to your time off over the festive period.

So when are the Christmas and New Year bank holidays?

Here’s what you need to know.

Christmas and New Year could be impacted by the Omicron Covid variant (image: Shutterstock)

When are the Christmas bank holidays?

You can often lose track of time over the Christmas period as the days slide by in a haze of TV, board games, turkey sandwiches and sparkling wine.

And when Christmas and Boxing Day are at the weekend, as they are this year, it can be confusing because bank holidays only fall during the week.

So these are the days 2021’s Christmas bank holidays fall on:

  • Monday 27 December - Christmas Day (substitute day)
  • Tuesday 28 December - Boxing Day (substitute day)

These days are the same in all the countries of the UK.

Families up and down the UK will get the Monday and Tuesday off after Christmas (image: Shutterstock)

Some employers close their businesses for the week between Christmas and New Year, so you might not have to work at all during this time.

But you should always check before you make any plans.

When are the New Year bank holidays?

As with Christmas, New Year’s Day falls on a Saturday in 2022.

It means the bank holiday is going to be substituted to Monday 3 January 2022.

This is the same across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

It is believed Scottish people get an extra day off after the New Year because of Hogmanay (image: Shutterstock)

However, Scotland gets an extra bank holiday the day after New Year’s Day.

In 2022, this day off will fall on Tuesday 4 January.

The reason why Scots get an extra day off after the New Year is unclear, although some say it is to allow people to recover from Hogmanay.

Traditionally, Hogmanay was a three-day feast.

But Brits in other parts of the UK can console themselves with the fact that many Scottish people typically work on public holidays because they tend not to be observed north of the border.

Extra bank holiday planned in 2022

The UK is set to get an extra bank holiday in 2022 to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

A long weekend has been created in early June 2022 to mark 70 years since Queen Elizabeth II was crowned.

The Spring Bank Holiday, which usually takes place in May, has been pushed back to Thursday 2 June.

The public will then also be given Friday 3 June off as an additional bank holiday.

Wherever you are in the UK, your place of work doesn’t have to give you paid leave on bank or public holidays - although most do.

If you claim benefits, the UK Government warns that bank holidays might affect how and when these benefits are paid.

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