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Working on Christmas Day You're not alone: Number of people at work on the big day jumps 78% in eight yearsA majority of Christmas workers are in service orientated industries such as hospitality
NHS and social care make up the biggest group
09:17 GMT, 18 December 2012
More people than ever are having to work on Christmas Day, according to a new study.
Gone are the days when every shop was shut and the parish church was jammed with worshippers, as more staff are asked to forego their festive break.
The Trade Union Congress revealed almost 172,000 workers were on duty on December 25 in 2010, a figure that has risen 78 per cent in the last eight years.
Serving holiday cheer: A majority of people working on Christmas day are in service orientated industries, such as hospitality
The numbers of those working over Christmas in 2004 was 96,000 and in 1998 was 72,000.
The most recent figures show equal numbers of men and women going to work on Christmas Day.
Those in the NHS and social care made up the biggest group, 74,500, of those working in 2010, while 14,000 hospitality and catering staff and 13,800 retail, wholesale and motoring workers gave up their break.
TUC general secretary Brendan Barber called for employers to make sure their staff are properly recompensed for sacrificing Christmas.
He said: ‘There has been a significant increase in the number of people working on Christmas Day in recent years, reflecting the changing nature of the way we live our lives.
Not alone: Santa and Rudolph are not the only ones to work on Christmas Day
‘Unions have worked hard to make sure that the UK’s Christmas Day employees get premium rates, earning double or even triple their normal pay.
‘We should all spare a thought for the people next Tuesday who will be hard at work while we’re opening our presents, messing about with our new gadgets, tucking into our turkey dinners, sipping a glass of sherry and relaxing with our families.
‘But whether it be the emergency services, those in the health service, call centre workers, people working in petrol stations or in hotels and restaurants, let’s remember all those whose work helps keep the country ticking over while the rest of us are enjoying ourselves.’