With the June bank holiday just around the corner, this week's TOTW examines the history behind and legal basis for these much-loved non-business days.
Formerly a day on which banks were closed by statute: Bank Holidays Acts 1871, 1875 and 1903, now repealed by the Central Bank Act 1989 s.4 and schedule. A bank holiday is now, in effect, a public holiday (qv) as defined in the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997 ss.21 - 22 and second schedule.
A public holiday is a non-business day, as are Saturdays and Sundays; a bill of exchange (qv) which is due and payable on a non-business day, is payable on the next succeeding business day: Central Bank Act 1989 s.132. Special provision is made for a Saturday where the drawee of the bill is a banker and the drawee is normally open for business on that day.
A person is not compellable to make any payment or do any act on a public holiday which he would not be compellable to make or do on Christmas Day or Good Friday by virtue of any rule of law (ibid s.135) or on a day in which the target (qv) system is closed: Euro Changeover (Amounts) Act 2001 s.5. See PUBLIC HOLIDAY.
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