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 holiday dates in Northern Ireland and employees' rights on pay and time off on public and bank holidays.
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.
|New Year's Day||Tue 1 January||Wed 1 January|
|St Patrick's Day||Mon 18 March*||Tue 17 March|
|Good Friday||Fri 19 April||Fri 10 April|
|Easter Monday||Mon 22 April||Mon 13 April|
|May Day Bank Holiday||Mon 6 May||Fri 8 May**|
|Spring Bank Holiday||Mon 27 May||Mon 25 May|
|Battle of the Boyne / Orangemen's Day||Fri 12 July||Mon 13 July***|
|Summer Bank Holiday||Mon 26 August||Mon 31 August|
|Christmas Day||Wed 25 December||Fri 25 December|
|Boxing Day||Thu 26 December||Mon 28 December****|
*In 2019, as St Patrick's Day falls on a Sunday, the holiday falls on the following Monday (18 March 2019).
**In 2020, the May Day Bank Holiday has been moved to Friday 8 May 2020 to mark the 75th anniversary of VE-Day (Victory in Europe during World War II).
***In 2020, as 12 July falls on a Sunday, the holiday is given as the following Monday (13 July 2020).
****In 2020, as Boxing Day falls on a Saturday, the holiday is given as the following Monday (28 December 2020).
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
As an employer, you don't have to provide paid leave on bank and public holidays, though many employers will provide this. Any right to time off or extra pay for working on a bank holiday depends on the terms of the contract of employment with your employees.
For more information about paid leave, see know how much holiday to give your staff.