Guide

Bank and public holidays in Northern Ireland

The expected dates and days of Northern Ireland bank and public holidays for this year, and the next year, are listed below.

Bank or Public Holiday 2020 2021
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 public holiday is given as the following Monday (13 July 2020).

***In 2020, as Boxing Day falls on a Saturday, the public holiday is given as the following Monday (28 December 2020).

****In 2021, as Christmas Day falls on a Saturday, the public holiday is given as the following Monday (27 December 2021).

*****In 2021, as Boxing Day falls on a Sunday, the public holiday is given as the following Tuesday (28 December 2019).

What are bank and public holidays?

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.

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 staff on bank or public holidays

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 employment contract with your employees.

Find out about employees' rights on pay and time off on public and bank holidays and for more information about paid leave, see know how much holiday to give your staff.