Queen’s funeral: What is happening today, can I legally take the day off work and when is coronation of King Charles III? Vital Q&A during national mourning on Bank Holiday Monday, September 19
- Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral will begin today at 11am in Westminster Abbey
- King Charles III made it a bank holiday on September 10 in St James’s Palace
- Schools and some businesses and cultural establishments are closed today
- Royal Mail has suspended post deliveries as a mark of respect for the Queen
- The Queen’s funeral: All the latest Royal Family news and coverage
The country is getting ready for the Queen‘s funeral today as it begins at 11am – after Charles III approved an order for it to be a Bank Holiday.
The King formally approved the order on Saturday, September 10 at St James’s Palace in London.
The unexpected holiday has caused Britons to question what it means for them and their families. Can you legally take the day off work today? Are schools closed?
Today is the UK’s tenth Bank Holiday this year. An additional one was previously added this year in commemoration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Usually, the UK has eight Bank Holidays per year.
The Queen’s funeral was declared a Bank Holiday at the last minute and has left Britons questioning what it means for them and their families. Queen Elizabeth II is pictured at Balmoral ahead of receiving new Prime Minister Liz Truss on September 6, 2022
King Charles III formally approved an order declaring Monday, September 19 as a holiday at St James’s Palace in London on Saturday. The Queen’s funeral will take place at Westminster Abbey at 11am. Mourners are pictured in Banchory, Scotland as the hearse carrying Queen Elizabeth travels through the area
Am I legally entitled to a day off work?
While the King has declared today’s state funeral as a Bank Holiday, there is no legal requirement for employers to give staff the day off.
The government’s online announcement said the ‘bank holiday will operate in the same way as other bank holidays.’
This means there is ‘no statutory entitlement’ to time off but employers may include the day as part of a worker’s leave entitlement.
‘The government cannot interfere in existing contractual arrangements between employers and workers,’ the announcement states.
‘However, we would expect that many workers will be able to take the day off on the bank holiday. We also expect employers to respond sensitively to requests from workers who wish to take the day of the funeral off work.’
Officials say the holiday will allow residents, businesses and other organisation to ‘pay their respects to Her Majesty and commemorate Her reign, while marking the final day of the period of national mourning.’
Can I claim a day in-lieu, if I have to work?
Employers may offer staff another day’s holiday if they are required to work. However, the government has not issued guidance on this.
Days in-lieu are determined on a by-company basis and are a matter of discussion between staff and their employers.
If I work, will I be paid extra?
The government says staff should discuss additional pay with their employers.
‘There are no statutory rules regarding extra pay on bank holidays,’ the government’s announcement notes.
While the King has declared his mother’s state funeral as a Bank Holiday, there is no legal requirement for employers to give staff the day off. King Charles III is pictured on September 11 as he arrives at Buckingham Palace in London
Are schools closed?
Schools have been closed so that staff and students can mourn the death of Her Majesty.
The government’s memo specifically states: ‘We are not asking schools to remain open on the day of the bank holiday.’
It is possible that some schools may opt to remain open in a limited capacity, in effort to look after children should their parents be at work.
However, the government does not require this. It would likely be an individual decision made by each school.
Are shops and restaurants closed?
Many shops and other customer-facing businesses have remained open during the 10-day mourning period.
Some may choose to close today, especially if they are located close to the processional route.
But official government guidance states: ‘There is no obligation on organisations to suspend business during the national mourning period.’
Britons are encouraged to contact businesses directly for information about closures.
Is Royal Mail still delivering post?
The Royal Mail will suspend post delivery as a mark of respect for the Queen.
‘We want to make our customers aware that services will be suspended on the day of the funeral as people come together to honour Her Majesty, after 70 years of exemplary service to the nation and the Commonwealth,’ Royal Mail chief executive Simon Thompson said in a statement.
He noted the organisation is ‘proud’ to be playing an ‘important role delivering messages of condolence from all around the world to the Royal Family.’
Royal Mail said it has maintained a close relationship with the monarch for over 500 years, dating back to when King Henry VIII appointed the first postmaster.
The postal service says Queen Elizabeth II continued this close relationship by taking a ‘keen interest’ in its operations and playing an ‘active role’ in stamp selection.
Schools are closed so that staff and students can mourn the death of Her Majesty. The hearse carrying the Queen’s coffin is pictured travelling along the A90 road in Dundee, Scotland on Sunday, September 11
Are GPs and hospitals closed?
The NHS is expected to treat the day as it would any other Bank Holiday. GP surgeries are closed, but hospitals will remain open.
Scheduled operations are expected to proceed.
An NHS spokesperson told MailOnline it will provide further detail when plans have been finalised.
Are the courts continuing to work?
Courts in England and Wales have remained open during the national mourning period.
The courts are expected to only hear urgent matters today.
Are museums, theatres and art galleries closed?
Some entertainment venues and cultural establishments have closed their doors for the upcoming Bank Holiday.
The National Gallery shut and The Royal Opera House pulled its performance of Don Giovanni following the announcement of the Queen’s death.
Similarly, the BBC cancelled the Last Night of the Proms at Royal Albert Hall to as a mark of respect following her death.
However, like other businesses, cultural establishments are not required to close today. In fact, the British Museum often remains open to visitors on holidays.
People are encouraged to contact the museum, theatre or gallery of interest for specific policies regarding the Bank Holiday.
Have sports events been cancelled?
Several sporting events, including football and key horse races, have been cancelled in wake of the Queen’s death.
Fans should follow consult their club’s schedule for specific details regarding cancellations and rescheduling of matches.
Will rail or postal strikes still go ahead during the period of national mourning?
Rail union baron Mick Lynch has called off strikes planned for this week in a show of respect after the death of the Queen.
The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) Union boss said the walkout of rail workers was ‘suspended’ as the union joins ‘the whole nation in paying its respects’.
The RMT had announced members would take strike action on September 15 and 17, causing rail chaos in a long-running dispute over pay, jobs and conditions.
However, in a show of respect to Her Majesty, Mr Lynch said: ‘RMT joins the whole nation in paying its respects to Queen Elizabeth.
The Royal Mail also called off the second day of its planned 48-hour strike over pay and working conditions.
‘Following the very sad news of the passing of the Queen, and out of respect for her service to the country and her family, the union has decided to call off tomorrow’s planned strike action,’ the Communication Workers Union tweeted on Thursday, September 8.
Although the rail and postal unions have declined to strike during the national mourning period, that does not mean all workers groups will stop assembling.
The leader of the Criminal Bar Association (CBA) said on September 9 that defence barristers will continue to refuse to work on legal aid-funded cases.
Protests at courts and in Westminster were called off this week, but the strike action will continue. Protests after the Queen’s funeral will be ‘kept under review’.
The government says there are currently ‘no plans’ to mark the Queen’s death as an annual holiday. Mourners are pictured laying floral tributes in Green Park, near Buckingham Palace, in remembrance of Queen Elizabeth II on Sunday
Will the Queen’s death become an annual holiday?
The government says there are currently ‘no plans’ to mark the Queen’s death as an annual holiday.
Is the funeral of a monarch traditionally a bank holiday?
A monarch’s funeral is not traditionally a bank holiday.
The funerals of King George VI in 1952 or Sir Winston Churchill in 1965, the last time a state funeral was held in the UK, were not holidays.
However, the government has marked the Queen’s funeral as a bank holiday in an effort to ‘help give as many people as possible the opportunity on the day of the State Funeral to mark Her Majesty’s passing and commemorate Her reign.’
When will King Charles III’s Coronation take place and will it be a Bank Holiday?
Although Charles became King upon his mother’s death, he will not officially be crowned until next year.
His Coronation will likely take place in the spring or summer of 2023, after a period of mourning.
The government has not yet decided if the ceremony will be marked with a bank holiday. ‘A decision will be made nearer the time,’ officials say.