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  • Care workers and nurses most likely to be working on December 25th
  • TUC calls for staff to be given extra compensation for working

As many workplaces prepare to shut down for the Christmas break, the TUC is today (Tuesday) urging everyone to spare a thought for the million-plus workers who will be working this Christmas Day.  

The TUC estimates that the number of employees who will work on Wednesday 25 December will be 1,104,000 – an increase of 22,000 since 2016. 

Care workers and nurses most likely to be at work

Care workers and senior care workers (171,000) account for the biggest share of those working on Wednesday 25 December.

In what is likely to be a busy festive period for the NHS, 88,000 nurses and 55,000 nursing assistants will also be on duty. 

A large army of chefs (39,000), kitchen assistants (29,000), waiting staff (18,000) and bar staff (15,000) will be working in hotels, pubs and restaurants. 

 

In addition, 14,000 police officers and 18,000 security guards will be at work. And

Christmas Day services will also see 25,000 members of the clergy kept busy. 

Christmas pay and hours

Many union agreements ensure staff get premium rates or an extra day off for working on Christmas day.

But lots of service sector workers don’t get extra compensation for working on December the 25th.

The TUC says bosses should reward staff fairly for the inconvenience of working on Christmas Day and loss of time with their loved ones.

Shopworkers’ union Usdaw are calling for shops to be closed on Christmas Day and Boxing day.

The TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“We owe a huge debt to all those working on Christmas day. As we spend time with our loved ones, they keep Britain ticking over.

 

“Many on duty on will be on low pay, especially in sectors like hospitality and social care.  They deserve to be fairly rewarded for the essential services they provide.

“And people working in shops during the manic festive period should be given time off with their families.”

Usdaw General Secretary Paddy Lillis said:

“The trend for more stores to open longer over the festive period inevitably has a big impact on shopworkers’ Christmas Day celebrations.

“Finishing late on Christmas Eve and then getting straight back to work on Boxing Day means that Christmas Day is not a proper break.

“So Usdaw welcomes those retailers not opening on Boxing Day and we urge others to follow their example.”

Editors note

Christmas Day working – top industries

Industry

Working Christmas day (thousands)

Industry

Working Christmas day (thousands)

Health and social care

440

Agriculture

28

Hotels and restaurants

143

Recreation and leisure

28

Public administration and defence

92

Professional, technical and scientific

23

Transport and storage

56

Education

20

Manufacturing

41

Construction

17

Admin and secretarial

32

Electricity and gas supply

12

Other services*

31

Information and communications

12

*”Other services” is an ONS classification that includes services to individuals as diverse as computer repairs, membership organisations, funeral directors and hairdressers

Christmas Day working – top occupations

Industry

Working Christmas day (thousands)

Industry

Working Christmas day (thousands)

care workers and home carers

146

senior care workers

25

nurses

88

administrative jobs

19

nursing auxiliaries and assistants

55

waiting staff

18

chefs

39

security guards

18

cleaners and domestics

29

bar staff

15

kitchen and catering assistants

29

police officers (sergeant and below)

14

sales and retail assistants

28

sales supervisors

14

clergy

25

All occupations

1,104

Note – the top 15 detailed occupations account for half of all Christmas working (49.5%).

The TUC estimated the extent of Christmas day working 2019 by updating the latest ONS Christmas statistics available by subsequent changes in employment levels by industry and occupation.