The number of UK employees who will work on Christmas Day is likely to exceed 900,000 this year – an increase of 42,000 (5%) over the last three years, according to a report from the TUC.
Employees in Scotland and the North East are the most likely to be working on Friday 25, with 3.6% of those employed working on Christmas Day. London and the West Midlands have the least employees going in on Christmas Day, with just 2.2% of the workforce on the job. Overall in the UK, the figure is 2.9%.
Care workers (168,000) and medical staff (152,000) account for many of those working on the 25th. In what is likely to be a busy festive period for the NHS, 89,000 nurses, 46,000 nursing assistants and 17,000 doctors will all be on duty.
The hospitality industry also employs a large number of people who will be working at Christmas. Around 42,000 Chefs, 22,000 kitchen assistants, 15,000 waiting staff and 13,000 bar staff will be working in hotels, pubs and restaurants.
In addition, 22,000 police officers and 28,000 security guards will be at work, and 135,000 care workers and home carers will continue their roles as normal.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady urged everyone to “spare a thought” for the hundreds of thousands of people who will be working. “Christmas Day is a special day that millions of us spend with our nearest and dearest,” she said.
“So we should all spare a thought for the people who will be hard at work while we’re opening our presents, tucking into the turkey and relaxing with our families. Many on duty on Christmas Day will be on low pay, especially in sectors like hospitality and social care.
“Let’s stop and remember all those who keep the services we rely upon running during the Christmas break.”