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Many people working on Christmas Day are getting paid less now in real terms than before the financial crash, according to new research by the TUC released today (Wednesday).

The TUC looked at the most-worked jobs on December 25th, and tracked their wages over the last ten years. All except kitchen staff have seen their real wages fall since 2007.

  • Doctors’ real wages are down over £1,000 a month.
  • Prison and police officers are down over £400.
  • Clergy are down over £300.
  • Security guards and nurses are down over £100.

Christmas workers in low-paid jobs – such as cleaners, carers, waiting staff, and farm workers – have also seen their wages sink.

In 2014, the ONS estimated over a million people work on the day – 3.3% of all employees.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“Seasonal goodwill is clearly in short supply on pay day.

“While many of us are tucking in to the turkey, the UK’s Christmas workforce will be hard at work keeping vital services running. But their wages are worth even less than they were a decade ago.

“2018 should be the year that the government finally get wages rising across the UK. They can start by ditching their Scrooge-like pay restrictions on our public service workers, and by raising the minimum wage.”

Editors note

Notes to editors:

Job title

Monthly fall in real wages (2007-2017)

% change (2007 - 2017)

Doctors/Medical practitioners



Prison service officers (below principal officer)



Police officers (sergeant and below)






Security guards and related occupations






Care workers and home carers



Farm workers



Waiters and waitresses



Bar staff



Cleaners and Domestics



Nursing auxiliaries and assistants



Kitchen and catering assistants






Source: ONS ASHE figures. All expressed in 2017 prices and adjusted for CPI.

Michael Pidgeon
077 1753 1150 

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