The Royal Wedding conundrum
The following question from a dental principal. “The government has, in their wisdom, announced a Bank Holiday on the date of the Royal Wedding, 29 April 2011. Not being a royalist I find this irrelevant at best, however, who pays the staff for this extra Bank Holiday? I am told that employers do not have to pay staff and I certainly do not feel inclined to close the practice and pay the staff for the privilege. I gather it is acceptable legally to tell your team that it is an unpaid days leave, but what do they feel about that? I know our business is doing everything it can to get through these hard times but I resent there being an implied expectation that there is an extra paid days holiday that we have to fund. I would appreciate your’s and also the other opinions on this matter, apparently, as responsible employers, whatever decision is made needs to be told to the staff soon.” So, let battle commence. The client has asked for my opinion. I’m not a Royalist or an employer (Team CB are all freelance) and co-incidentally will be on vacation that week. The fact is that we are a nation of royalists and “celebrity” addicts and there will be 25 million or more glued to their TV sets to devour every second of the show – the real “royalties” will be the advertising revenues that the TV companies generate on the day and the sale of flags, mugs and goodness knows whatever other memorabilia. Will the nation’s supermarkets and fast food outlets be closed for the day? Will the nation’s patients break off from the gig to have their scale & polish or check up? Somehow I doubt it. As a dental employer I would probably bite the bullet, close and pay. There is no finer way to baffle the nation’s brains than to roll out the House of Windsor at a public place. The danger with any event like this – royal births, deaths, marriages and divorces – is that if you don’t “join in” or if you offer up any remotely negative words/actions, you will arouse a Churchillian wrath and be tarred with the Grinch brush. You have been warned…. Your views please?