HR Grapevine Advent Calendar: Walking in a winter 'worker'-land?

HR Grapevine Advent Calendar: Walking in a winter 'worker'-land?

Christmas is all about having time to rest, relax and recuperate - but not for some as three in five UK employees will work at some point over the Christmas period.

According to a survey by Hudson on UK employees, the majority of workers (61.5%), including three quarters of millennials (76%), will put the brakes on the brandy to work at some point between Christmas Eve and the January Bank Holiday.  

Over a third of staff (34%) will have to work at least one day between Christmas and New Year, with one third returning to work on Tuesday 29th December. Over one quarter (26%) are required to work on December 28th, 29th and 30th.

45% say working over Christmas is mandatory and almost half (48%) claimed it was difficult to take paid leave during the Christmas period. One in ten are covering their colleagues holidays.

“As the on-demand economy transforms the way we buy goods and services, most businesses simply can’t afford to close their doors over the Christmas period,” comments Peter Istead, Recruitment Managing Director at Hudson. “For some staff, this means they have no choice but to come in; for others, it’s about who draws the short straw. However, with half of workers claiming it’s hard to take holiday over the holiday period, employers need to take a careful look at whether they’re being fair and flexible towards staff, particularly those whose families live in other parts of the UK.”

However, the research also showed that some employees are choosing to put down the leftover turkey in order to earn more money (22%), (with 32% of millennials favouring this) and 11% want to catch up with work or because they are self-employed (11%).

“It’s clear that for some staff, the financial gift of working extra hours trumps the gift of family and friends, but with one in four staff working up to Christmas Eve and one in five back in work on Boxing Day,” adds Istead. “Businesses should consider the risk of employee burnout. Everyone needs a break and a chance to recharge – perhaps the greatest gift businesses could give their staff is forcing them to stay off a little longer this Christmas.”

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