Employment: Christmas just another working day

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The Independent Online
More people than ever are working throughout the Christmas period as business responds to the 24-hour society and shops stay open later, research published yesterday found.

One in five of the 375 workers questioned in a survey by recruitment specialists Reed Personnel Services said their firm was taking a shorter break or no break at all this Christmas. In many organisations the Christmas break has disappeared altogether, especially in the retail and catering sectors.

"Over the last 10 years it has become more expected to have to work over Christmas," said one respondent.

Another said people were more ready to work over Christmas, to give them more flexibility with holiday allowances. Some workers escape abroad to escape the extended work and shopping spree caused by Christmas.

Others said they deserved a longer break over Christmas because they worked so hard during the rest of the year.