Merry Christmas – at work?

Hundreds of thousands of people will be working this Christmas Day in the UK. The TUC has estimated that more than 900,000 employees will work on 25 December this year.

Care workers (168,000) and medical staff (152,000) account for a big share. In what is likely to be a busy festive period for the NHS, 89,000 nurses, 46,000 nursing assistants and 17,000 doctors will all be on duty.

A large army of chefs (42,000), kitchen assistants (22,000), waiting staff (15,000) and bar staff (13,000) will be working in hotels, pubs and restaurants.

In addition, 22,000 police officers and 28,000 security guards will be at work. And, as farm animals don't generally celebrate Christmas, 15,000 farm workers will be making sure they are being looked after like any other day.

20,000 members of the clergy will be busy with Christmas Day services.

Many of those working will have chosen to do so, some for more money, some for religious reasons – some to escape the family for a few hours. But many others will have little choice in the matter.

As TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady pointed out:

"Many on duty on Christmas Day will be on low pay, especially in sectors like hospitality and social care.

"Let’s stop and remember all those who keep the services we rely upon running during the Christmas break."

And if you're working over the festive break, check out workSMART's page on how to deal with some of the special work issues the festive season brings.