Working over Christmas and new year?

We answer your questions with support, guidance and updates from the CSP’s Employment Relations and Union Services team

Working over Christmas and new year?

While most of the working population do not usually work on the Christmas public holidays, some physiotherapy staff do. Like other healthcare and emergency services’ workers, your patients do need to be seen and services covered during this holiday period. We answer some of your questions about working over the holiday season

What public holiday dates are we talking about? 

The days that the public holidays fall on this year are Christmas Day – Wednesday 25 December, Boxing Day – Thursday 26 December and New Year’s Day – Wednesday 1 January. If you work in Scotland an additional public holiday is awarded on 2 January.  

I work in the NHS - what are the arrangements?

If you work in the NHS or your employer follows NHS public holiday arrangements, what you earn for working a public holiday will vary

Any Questions? Contact your CSP steward. 

depending on the type of work you do. 

I’ll be working on-call.

In most cases, patients do not want to be treated over the Christmas period and services are more limited, with the public holidays being covered by on-call rotas/arrangements. If you are working on-call, then NHS employers in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland have a local agreement covering on-call payments for working on a public holiday. If you are working for an NHS employer in Wales then your rate of pay and time off in lieu (TOIL) is set by an all-Wales NHS on-call agreement (see right). In all countries and in all cases if you work on a public holiday you will be entitled to your agreed rate plus TOIL. 

I’m working as part of my normal shift pattern, what about me?  

It is unusual for physiotherapists and physiotherapy support workers to be working a normal shift over a Christmas or New Year public holiday. However, if you are part of a shift roster then you are entitled to unsocial hours rates of pay for a bank holiday plus time off in lieu for the public holidays you work.   

If you work a shift that spans across a normal working day and a public holiday then if more than half of the shift falls in the public holiday, the whole of that shift will qualify for unsocial hours payment.

I am working on the NHS bank, what do I need to know? 

If you are working as a bank or agency employee on any of the Christmas or New Year public holidays you must check to see what your bank contract entitles you to be paid. There is no statutory entitlement to leave or paid leave on public holidays and most bank contracts of

Unsocial hours payments

Pay    All time on Sundays and public band holidays (midnight to  Band midnight)
1       Time plus 97% + TOIL 
2       Time plus 85% + TOIL
3       Time plus 72% + TOIL
4-9   Time plus 60% + TOIL

employment will not include an entitlement to be paid for a public holiday, if you do not work it. Ask your trust/board bank administrator or check your contract to see how much you will be paid if you work on a Christmas or New Year bank holiday.  

If you are on a bank contract you will be entitled to the statutory paid holiday allowance of 28 paid days pro-rated to the actual number of hours or days you work as a bank staff member.

What if I work in the private sector or a non-NHS employer? 

If your employer does not follow Agenda for Change terms and conditions (some non-NHS employers do), you will need to check your own contract of employment to see what rates you will be paid for working on a bank holiday. 

What’s in the Agenda for Change terms and conditions handbook?

Section 2 Maintaining Round the Clock Services [England] sets out entitlements for England pay for working on a public holiday in England.

Section 2 Maintaining Round the Clock Services [Scotland and Northern Ireland] set out the entitlements for working on a public holiday in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

In 2012, Wales produced guidance harmonising the on-call agreement which includes availability allowances and the rates paid to NHS staff on AfC contracts for hours worked during an on-call period.

Availability allowances were increased in line with the three-year pay deal and the rates for 2019 and 2020 can be found on p4

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