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 2019 2020
New Year's Day 1 January 1 January
St Patrick's Day 17 March 17 March
Good Friday 19 April 10 April
Easter Monday 22 April 13 April
Early May Bank Holiday (VE Day) 6 May 8 May
Spring Bank Holiday 27 May 25 May
Battle of the Boyne / Orangemen's Day 12 July 12 July
Summer Bank Holiday 26 August 31 August
Christmas Day 25 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 2018, St Patrick's Day was on Saturday 17 March, so the substitute bank holiday was Monday 19 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 2019 2020
Clocks go forward 31 March 29 March
Clocks go back 27 October 25 October

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