[2019] Motion 18 Christmas and New Year working

carried motion
Carried motion

Received from:

Congress is concerned that many workers in a wide range of different sectors are not receiving a decent break from work over the Christmas and New Year holiday period.

Congress notes the results of Christmas and New Year working surveys by Usdaw, with more than 18,000 responses from retail workers. More than three-quarters of respondents said that they spend too little time at Christmas with family and friends. More than two-thirds felt under pressure to work on Boxing Day and 75 per cent said that working over New Year affected their ability to enjoy the holiday.

Christmas Day trading legislation means that nearly all shops do not trade on Christmas Day. However, many retail workers report that for them Christmas is just a day off, not a holiday. Long hours in the run-up to Christmas and shops reopening early on Boxing Day leaves many retail workers too exhausted and with insufficient time off to enjoy the Christmas holiday.

The Scottish Parliament has passed but not enacted legislation that would stop large shops opening on New Year’s Day. Usdaw is campaigning for this legislation to be enacted.

Congress commits the TUC to supporting the campaign for a longer break for retail workers over the Christmas and New Year period, including:

i. early closure on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve
ii. closure on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day (and 2 January in Scotland)
iii. no loss of pay for retail workers when stores are closed.

Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers


  • Insert new paragraph 4:
    “Distribution workers play a vital role behind the scenes in UK retail, often working outside of traditional hours to ensure that shops and warehouses are fully stocked. It is important that these workers also benefit from a full Christmas Day and New Year’s Day holiday break.”
  • In existing paragraph 5, between “retail” and “workers” insert “and distribution”