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If you’re looking forward to a few days off for the holiday season this year, you’re probably not one of the one in six who will have to go to work on Christmas Day.

Research* carried out for us found that almost one in six respondents say they will have to go to work on Christmas Day this year, while nearly a fifth reveal that they’ll be working Boxing Day. Christmas traditionally meant at least two days holiday for most workers, but now it seems that some may not even get that.

Working on overtime

Of the people who will have to work Christmas Day, a third say that they are on a rota, and this year happens to be their turn to work the day. Whilst this might be annoying if you’re one of the people going into work on Christmas Day thanks to a rota, at least you can take comfort in the fact that next year you’ll be able to have the day off. However, almost as many respondents say that they are contracted to work Christmas, suggesting that this is the situation at their job every year.

Not everyone is being asked to work Christmas Day though, as some reveal that they will be coming in on the day by choice. Just under three in 10 say they are opting to work on Christmas Day as they will get overtime pay for it. Around one in 15 claim that as they don’t celebrate Christmas, they have volunteered to work to give other people the chance to have the day off.

Slaving for the sales

The sales are a big reason for people having to come into work during the festive season, as a quarter of people who say they are going to work on Christmas Day are from retail, as are nearly a third of those working Boxing Day. Boxing Day sales have become even bigger in recent years as some shops will open at the crack of dawn to accommodate the hordes of deal hunters ready to snap up some quick bargains.

Also planning to work on Christmas Day are NHS employees - with more than one in six of those due to work being hospital workers. Those employed by the emergency services don’t all get to stop working just because it’s Christmas either, and alcohol-fuelled parties may mean that more people are likely to take a trip to A&E over the holiday season.

Over one in eight of those working at Christmas work in the hospitality or entertainment sector, which includes restaurants, pubs, and hotels. Some families choose to break from the tradition of having a home-cooked Christmas dinner and instead decide to save time and work by eating out at a restaurant, so table staff and chefs will be in work to accommodate them

Celebrating later

However, not everyone will miss out on celebrating and spending a day with their family. Nearly nine in 10 (87%) of those who are having to work over Christmas say that they will be pulling crackers and tucking into turkey on a different day instead.

If you’re working on Christmas Day this year, you could actually save money by celebrating on a different day. Whilst it may not be ideal, the majority of Christmas food – and even presents – will be reduced after December 25th, so you may be able to pick up your turkey, veg, and cranberry sauce for a steal.

Will you be working this Christmas Day or Boxing Day, or will you be lucky enough to have some time off with your family? Let us know on our Twitter or Facebook pages.

*OnePoll questioned a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults aged 18 and over between 21st November and 28th November 2014, of whom 636 were Scottish residents.

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