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The significance of Bank Holidays

Legal advice children

As the August Bank Holiday approaches families will be busy making plans, hoping that the sun shines and trying to find ways to avoid the holiday traffic.

We tend to take our bank holidays for granted but it is interesting to note that the Summer Bank Holiday has only been observed at the end of August for a relatively short period.

Bank holidays were initially established by the Bank Holidays Act 1871, however, at this stage the August Bank Holiday was on the first Monday of the month.

This moved to later in the month in 1965 on an experimental basis. The initial rule seemed to be that they would select the weekend of the last Saturday in August but this meant that, curiously, in 1968 and 1969 August Bank Holiday Monday actually fell in September.

In 1971 the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971 was passed and specified the date of the August Bank Holiday as the last Monday in August. In Scotland the August Bank Holiday remains on the first Monday in August.

Where parents are separated Bank Holidays should never be forgotten in terms of agreeing patterns of time to be spent by the child or children with each parent.  Whilst school age children will be in the midst of their summer holidays this August a lot of working parents will be restricted in terms of the amount of time which they can take off and the extended weekend provided by a Bank Holiday can be a rare treat.

If the issues of access to your children affects you please Maguire Family Law by telephone: 0044 (0) 1625 544650 or email:

For specialist advice on any family law related issue contact Maguire Family Law by email: or telephone:

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