UK bank holidays 2023: this is how to use public holidays to turn 19 days of annual leave into 48 days off

By using 19 days of your work holiday allowance and fitting them in with bank holidays, you can put your out of office on for almost 7 weeks in 2023

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The UK has celebrated its final bank holiday as we wave goodbye to the festive period. And with the new year underway, it’s time to start thinking about your 2023 bank holidays. Thanks to King Charles III’s coronation in May, we have an extra bank holiday to play with next year.

It means there are nine public holidays in 2023, including the New Year’s Day substitute day. These days off are not only handy for long weekends, but can be used to get away from your desk for a decent amount of time.

Indeed, by using up 19 days of annual leave, you can bag yourself 48 days of holiday in convenient, lengthy batches.

So, how can you pull off this handy holiday hack - and when are the 2023 bank holidays? Here’s everything you need to know.

The nine UK bank holidays in 2023 mean you can get 48 days off work for the price of 19 days of annual leave (image: Getty Images)The nine UK bank holidays in 2023 mean you can get 48 days off work for the price of 19 days of annual leave (image: Getty Images)
The nine UK bank holidays in 2023 mean you can get 48 days off work for the price of 19 days of annual leave (image: Getty Images)

When are bank holidays in 2023?

This is when the nine UK-wide bank holidays of 2023 will fall, including New Year’s Day 2023’s substitute day.

  • Monday 2 January: (New Year’s Day (substitute day as 1 January is on a Sunday)
  • Friday 7 April: Good Friday
  • Monday 10 April: Easter Monday
  • Monday 1 May: Early May bank holiday
  • Monday 8 May: King Charles III’s coronation
  • Monday 29 May: Spring bank holiday
  • Monday 28 August: Summer bank holiday
  • Monday 25 December: Christmas Day
  • Tuesday 26 December: Boxing Day

How can you get more annual leave?

Aside from any special policies your company has that may allow you to access more annual leave, there are some useful tricks you can use to maximise your holidays.

By using up 19 days of your holiday allowance and fitting them in with bank holiday weekends, you can put your out of office on for more than 13% of the calendar year in lengthy, relaxing chunks. Here’s a breakdown of how to do it:

  • Easter 2023

The Easter holidays tee up your first major opportunity to deploy a small amount of annual leave in exchange for a lengthy period off work.

By taking the week after Easter Monday off (Tuesday 11 April until Friday 14 April), you can bag yourself a whole 10 days away from the daily grind at the expense of just four days of annual leave. This is because Good Friday and Easter Monday (7 and 10 April) are bank holidays and you get two weekends during this period.

  • May bank holidays

We get an extra day off in May 2023 thanks to King Charles III’s coronation. Handily, it comes just a week after the annual May Day bank holiday (1 May).

So, if you book off four working days (Tuesday 2 May until Friday 5 May), you can bag yourself a 10-day stint off work, including weekends - hopefully in time for nicer weather.

King Charles III’s coronation provides an extra day off in 2023 (image: Getty Images)King Charles III’s coronation provides an extra day off in 2023 (image: Getty Images)
King Charles III’s coronation provides an extra day off in 2023 (image: Getty Images)

Yet another bank holiday Monday on 29 May means you can take another four days off (Tuesday 30 May until Friday 2 June) and get a total of nine days away from your desk.

  • August bank holiday

The next opportunity to get more time away from your colleagues comes on Monday 28 August.

For the price of another four days of annual leave (Tuesday 29 August until Friday 1 September), you can nab a hefty nine days of me-time between Saturday 26 August and Sunday 3 September).

  • Christmas 2023

So far, you’ve used up 12 annual leave days and received 29 in return - plenty of time to decompress and have some well-deserved rest. But you have one final big opportunity to gain extra time off by using just a small amount of your work holiday allowance.

Christmas Day 2023 falls on a Monday, while Boxing Day is a Tuesday. New Year’s Day is also going to be on a Monday. By taking Wednesday to Friday (27 to 29 December) off work, you can get yourself 10 days off work from (Saturday 23 December until Monday 1 January).

These 10 holiday days for the price of just three days’ annual leave gives you a grand total of 48 days off (almost seven weeks) for the price of 19 annual leave days.