23 December 2015

With most people having either already finished work for the holidays or winding down to a few days at home, the TUC has urged them to spare a thought for the hundreds of thousands of people who will be working on Christmas Day.

Based on official statistics, it estimates that the number of employees who will be at work on Friday is likely to exceed 900,000 this year — an increase of 42,000 (5%) over the last three years.

Care workers (168,000) and medical staff (152,000) account for a big share of those for whom 25 December is another working day. 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.

They will be joined by army of chefs (42,000), kitchen assistants (22,000), waiting (15,000) and bar staff (13,000) while 22,000 police officers and 28,000 security guards will be on duty, as will 15,000 farm workers.

Not surprisingly, 20,000 members of the clergy will also be hard at work.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: "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."