Christmas is the time of year when we gather with family and eat our body weight in Brussels sprouts and Quality Street. It’s supposed to be relaxing.
But some don’t think enough is being done for shop workers who are being made to work over the festive period.
And now thousands of people have signed a petition demanding shops be forced to close on Boxing Day to give their staff a rest.
The viral petition has received more than 66,000 signatures so far, with less than 10,000 needed to reach its target of 75,000.
The campaign, which was uploaded to Change.org, reads: “Staff should not be forced to spend Boxing Day away from loved ones so shoppers can get a new pair of half-price trainers that they will not even wear before starting their New Year’s resolutions at the gym (far into January).”
Citing an article written three years ago, the petition went on to quote tweets from shoppers who shared the view that retail workers deserved to have a day of rest.
One concerned customer said: “I want shops to shut because there is no need for them to be open on Boxing Day, retail staff work extremely hard over the Christmas period and for them to have Christmas Day off and then return to work the next day to sit around and serve the very few customers that come in, is just cruel. It should be a Bank Holiday.”
A second wrote: “Petition for all shops to close on Boxing Day as well as Christmas Day to give retail staff a break, all those in favour say ‘I’.”
Another person commented: “I had to work Christmas Eve, Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve last year, they didn’t even give us the ‘time and a half’ pay they had promised.”
A fourth person said they just wanted some quality time with their daughter, writing: “My daughter works weekends in retail and no one is allowed to be off on Boxing Day plus it’s usual pay rate. Last year the shop was very quiet anyway. No need to shop on Boxing Day.”
This comes almost a week after Home Bargains announced it will be allowing staff to take the day off this year. And what’s better, the day won’t be taken as part of their holiday allowance, meaning all 22,000 workers will still get paid.
The discount store confirmed the change on Twitter, writing: “To all our staff: Thank you for all your hard work once again this year.
“All our stores will be closed on Boxing Day to ensure you are able to spend time with your friends and family.”