The Royal Wedding – from a HR Perspective

beautiful wedding decoration for Silk tent for the wedding ceremony for the newlywedsSo we are fast approaching the wedding of the year – Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are tying the knot this weekend but how will this affect your business? What are the things you need to think about?

A Public holiday has not been granted

Their engagement was announced some time ago and speculation started almost immediately whether we would be given an extra day off as a public holiday as we did when Prince William and Kate Middleton (as was then) also married. However, the Prime Minister Theresa May quickly put a stop to this, commenting that the young royals getting hitched should be enough in itself to ‘cheer people up’.

Whether connected to this or not, the happy couple have decided to marry on a Saturday, which is a move that breaks royal tradition.  This gives a larger proportion of the population the opportunity to enjoy the day with most enjoying a Monday to Friday working week.

Do I have to give time off? 

In the eyes of the law, Saturday 19th May will see business as usual for employers throughout the UK.  You are under no obligation to offer time off, or relax any contractual terms.  Any time off for this day, if it is a normal working day, should be dealt with in the normal way as detailed in your annual leave procedure.

It might be wise though to consider how to accommodate the interest the day will have in those who are unfortunate to have to work.

Some businesses have reported that more than half (51.7%) of employers say their organisation’s approach to major sporting and special events like the Royal Wedding has a positive or very positive impact on employee engagement so we should use this as an opportunity. as with other special events that take place during working hours to think of ways to accommodate and have facilities or arrangements include:

  • a TV in a communal area or staff room;
  • allowing employees to follow events online on work devices; and
  • permitting the use of radios.

It might not be possible but you may be able to consider making special working time arrangements. The most popular options are:

  • flexible start and end times;
  • considering late requests for annual leave;
  • allowing employees to make up any working time taken to view events; and
  • allowing differently timed lunch breaks.

All of the above can go a long way when it comes to boosting morale and protecting your employer brand.


Hopefully this won’t be the case, but if you do have any issues which occur on the weekend, these should be handled in line with your current people policies. Be prepared though – consider the possibility of a member of staff celebrating a little too hard and failing to turn up for duty the next day?  Or, what if they do come into work, but are clearly still inebriated from the night before?

Remember though, you should be doing nothing differently.  Follow your normal people policies which are well know to your employees so that you remain fair and consistent in your approach.

After our, what seems an eternity of a winter, this may be what we all need but if you do have any problems over the weekend please contact one of our HR Consultants to talk things through, we will be happy to advice, we can be contacted on 07989 343361 or emailed on

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