When is a bank holiday not a bank holiday? Calculating the periods of days in adjudications

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A useful reminder of the calculation of the periods of days, excluding bank holidays, in adjudication.

In a recent CIArb adjudication appointment the date of the Notice fell seven days before the May Day bank holiday Monday. So, when drafting my directions for service of the Referral, I sought to exclude the 2nd May from the calculation of the seven day period by which the Referral is to be served, due to it being a bank holiday. Before I issued my direction, I checked the schedule of bank holidays as referred to in S116 of the Housing Grants Construction and Regeneration Act, that prescribes how periods are to be calculated and which days are treated as bank holidays for the purpose of this calculation. S116(3) excludes bank holidays from the period to be calculated, including Christmas Day, Good Friday and those stated in the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971.

S1(1) of the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971 states that the days specified in Schedule 1 of the Act are bank holidays, and that these days are subject to amendment by Royal Proclamation under s1(2). S1(3) permits further Royal Proclamations granting a special day to be a bank holiday.

Schedule 1 of the 1971 Act provides a list of days for each of England and Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland.

Paragraph 1 of Schedule 1 for England and Wales lists five bank holidays as being:

  • Easter Monday.
  • The last Monday in May.
  • The last Monday in August.
  • 26th December if it be not a Sunday.
  • 27th December in a year in which 25th or 26th December is a Sunday.

The 2nd May does not appear in this list and the last Monday of May is 30th May 2022. (This latter date would be relevant to the calculation of the date by when my decision must be reached, assuming a 28 day process.)

Therefore, with reference to Schedule 1 of the 1971 Act, the 2nd May was not a bank holiday for the purposes of calculating the period by when the Referral was to be served.

However, the website lists the 2nd May 2022 as being a bank holiday and does not show the 30th May 2022 as being a bank holiday and so something was not quite right when compared to the days in Schedule 1. The website is a reliable source of information and I wanted to reconcile the disparity. This was readily done by locating the Royal Proclamations (in satisfaction of S1(2) and 1(3) of the 1971 Act) in the Gazette for the new and amended bank holiday dates for 2022 that aligned with the listing.

The last Monday in May is not a bank holiday this year. Due to the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, this date has been moved to Thursday 2nd June 2022 to precede the additional bank holiday on 3rd June 2022.

It follows the above that I was able then to correctly determine the dates for the service of the Referral and the date for reaching my decision.

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