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97% of staff are against Boxing Day trading, says Usdaw

An overwhelming majority of shop staff are opposed to Boxing Day trading, according to a new survey from workers union Usdaw.

A survey of over 12,000 shopworkers, 85% of them in retail, found that 97% think that shops should be closed the day after Christmas to allow them to spend time with family and to “recuperate”.

The survey also found that 98% want stores to close early on Christmas Eve, with Usdaw calling for stores to close at 4pm on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

Paddy Lillis Usdaw general secretary said: “The trend of more stores opening for 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.

He added: “Staff in retail work very long hours in the run-up to Christmas and it can be really stressful. We know that issues of violence, threats and abuse also increase over the festive period.

“Our members tell us that they need time off to recuperate as well as to spend time with their family and friends. That is particularly important when they have children for whom Christmas is such a special time.”

Lillis said he “welcomes” retailers like Home Bargains, who have decided not to open on Boxing Day, and urged others to follow suit.

He said: “Retailers don’t need to open on Boxing Day and nobody needs to shop on Boxing Day, especially with the Christmas sales now happening throughout December.”

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