Retail workers rebel against Boxing Day openings

Posted by Sophie Regester in Personal Finance on 25 November 2016 - Sophie is a Senior Credit Analyst at checkmyfile.

If you work in retail there are definite perks but there are also some downsides, particularly in the run up to Christmas. This year there is a petition circling, which has already encouraged 180,000 signatures and calls for shops to be closed on Boxing Day.

If you are working full time in a shop around Christmas, the chances are that your store will only be closed for one day, Christmas day itself. You may find that you work up until Christmas Eve and then have one uninterrupted day of festive cheer before you are back in again on Boxing Day. I can certainly understand where these workers are coming from, but some shops allow holiday to be booked and the hours are part and parcel of the role - you can always change jobs if working around Christmas is a deal breaker.

We must also spare a thought for others who may not only have to work the days either side of Christmas but also the day itself, such as those in the emergency services, doctors, nurses, fire crews and police. This is in addition to hotel workers, pub landlords, cab drivers and the big guy himself, Father Christmas.

With any job, you take the rough with the smooth and shop workers will undoubtedly get staff discount and perhaps first dibs on sale items on Boxing Day. In addition, the hours are not usually too unsociable there will be supermarket workers who work in 24 hour stores and early starts on occasion for stock takes in clothing stores - compare this to a 12 hour night shift in a care home and it doesn’t seem so bad.

All this being said I don’t think we need shops open on Boxing day. I would much rather stay home with a cold turkey sarnie surrounded by discarded wrapping paper that the dog is still playing with from the day before than hit the shops. Christmas is about spending time with loved ones, not about buying yet more stuff for a few quid cheaper than it was a few days ago. Frantic sale shopping is not conducive to good will towards men, women or anyone for that matter.

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