Bank holidays

Bank holidays are holidays when banks and many other businesses are closed for the day. Public Holidays are holidays which have been observed through custom and practice, such as Christmas Day. Find out about the bank and public holidays in Northern Ireland and employees' rights to pay or time off.

Bank and public holiday dates

The expected dates of bank and public holidays in Northern Ireland for this year, and the next year are listed below.

Holidays 2016 2017
New Year's Day 1 January 2 January
St Patrick's Day 17 March 17 March
Good Friday 25 March 14 April
Easter Monday 28 March 17 April
Early May Bank Holiday 2 May 1 May
Spring Bank Holiday 30 May 29 May
Battle of the Boyne / Orangemen's Day 12 July 12 July
Summer Bank Holiday 29 August 28 August
Christmas Day 27 December* 25 December
Boxing Day 26 December 26 December

*When the usual date falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the 'substitute day' is normally the following Monday. For example in 2013, St Patrick's Day was on Sunday 17 March, so the substitute bank holiday was Monday, 18 March.

Special bank holidays

There are laws that allow the dates of bank holidays to be changed, or other holidays to be declared, for example to celebrate special occasions.

Time off for employees

You don't have a statutory right to paid leave on bank and public holidays, though many people receive the day off work. Any right to time off or extra pay for working on a bank holiday depends on the terms of your contract of employment.

You can find out more about your right to paid leave at the link below.

British Summer Time

British Summer Time (BST) starts on the last Sunday in March and ends on the last Sunday in October, at 1.00 am Greenwich Mean Time (GMT):

  • in spring the clocks go forward, losing an hour - at 1.00 am GMT the UK moves to 2.00 am BST
  • in autumn the clocks go back, giving an extra hour - at 2.00 am BST the UK moves to 1.00 am GMT

This year, and next year the summer time periods begin and end on the following dates:

BST 2016 2017
Clocks go forward 27 March 26 March
Clocks go back 30 October 29 October

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