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||Wed 1 January||Fri 1 January|
|St Patrick's Day||Tue 17 March||Wed 17 March|
|Good Friday||Fri 10 April||Fri 2 April|
|Easter Monday||Mon 13 April||Mon 5 Apr|
|May Day Bank Holiday||Fri 8 May*||Mon 3 May|
|Spring Bank Holiday||Mon 25 May||Mon 31 May|
|Battle of the Boyne / Orangemen's Day||Mon 13 July**||Mon 12 July|
|Summer Bank Holiday||Mon 31 August||Mon 30 August|
|Christmas Day||Fri 25 December||Mon 27 December****|
|Boxing Day||Mon 28 December***||Tue 28 December*****|
*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).
****In 2021, as Christmas Day falls on a Saturday, the holiday is given as the following Monday (27 December 2021).
*****In 2021, as Boxing Day falls on a Sunday, the holiday is given as the following Tuesday (28 December 2019).
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.