Labour backs call for retail workers to get Boxing Day off

The party says the Government should respect retail workers who wanted the day off

Millions of people descend on shops on Boxing Day in search of bargains
Millions of people descend on shops on Boxing Day in search of bargains

Labour has backed a call to postpone the January sales by a day to give retail workers an extra day off on Boxing Day.

A petition align for a ban on shops opening on the day after Christmas reached well over 100,000 signatures and will be debated by MPs as per parliamentary rules.

The petition states that Christmas is “a family time” and that it was unfair that retail workers only got one day off at Christmas after working hard into the run-up to the festive period.

The Government said in a response to the petition that it does “not believe it is for central government to tell businesses how to run their shops or how best to serve their customers”.

Labour’s shadow business minister Bill Esterton however said major retailers should give staff the day off unless they specifically volunteered to work.

“Labour supports our 2.7 million retail workers, their families and those retailers who want to act responsibly without the increasing pressure to bring their staff in for ever-longer hours over the Christmas period,” he said.

“Those stores that do not open on Boxing Day - John Lewis, Aldi and Lidl to name a few - saw sales increases last Christmas whilst giving their staff an extra day off. The Conservative government should respect the 92 per cent of retail workers who want an extra day to enjoy Christmas with their families.

“Having put in extraordinarily long hours in the run-up to Christmas, they will get just one day to spend with their loved ones. Surely, for their sake, we can all wait one more day for the sales?”

Large shops are prohibited from opening on Christmas Day but not on Boxing Day.

The Office for National Statistics estimates that 365,000 people in the retail sector alone worked on Boxing Day.

Around 22 million people descended on shops on the same day last year, according to industry estimates

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in