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 2023 and 2024 are listed as follows:
- Monday 25 December - Christmas Day
- Tuesday 26 December - Boxing Day
- Monday 1 January - New Year's Day
- Monday 18 March (substitute day) - St Patrick's Day
- Friday 29 March - Good Friday
- Monday 1 April - Easter Monday
- Monday 6 May - Early May Bank Holiday
- Monday 27 May - Spring Bank Holiday
- Friday 12 July - Battle of the Boyne / Orangemen's Day
- Monday 26 August - Summer Bank Holiday
- Wednesday 25 December - Christmas Day
- Thursday 26 December - Boxing Day
When the usual date falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the 'substitute day' is normally the following Monday.
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 get 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.
Find out more about your right to paid leave:
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 the summer time periods begin and end on the following dates:
- clocks go forward - 26 March
- clocks go back - 29 October