Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Are we paying the Christmas workforce enough?

18% of the UK to work Christmas at normal rate

  • 3% of employees will be working on the 25th December 1
  • 18% of those working on Christmas Day will get paid their normal rate, however, 39% of employees who do not work over the festive period state that they would only do so if they received triple pay
  • 50% of employees working on Christmas Day stated that their manager was unfair when it came to deciding who did and didn’t work.

A new report from RIFT tax refunds has revealed the financial cuts by employees when rewarding their staff for working Christmas Day.

The report, which was commissioned by the tax refund specialists and surveyed 2000 UK employees, revealed that a staggering 18% of employees will only get paid normal rate. 8% will receive time and a quarter, 20% will get time and a half, 35% will get double pay and 10% will receive triple pay for working on the 25th December. 

50% of employees working Christmas Day did not get a choice, whilst 24% of employees believe the rota to be unfair.

According to a similar report by the Office for National Statistics, 3.3% of employees will be working Christmas Day, this is the equivalent of 1.04 million workers.

Clergy workers will be the most likely to work on the 25th with 60% of all employees within this occupation expected to work.

When asked how much notice employees get when working Christmas Day, 16% of employees stated that they will receive just 2 weeks’ notice.

Which occupations are working this Christmas?

According to recent reports, the following occupations will be the ones most likely to work this coming Christmas Day:

Which regions are paid the most to work Christmas?

The North East of England is the most likely to get paid triple time with 28% of employees receiving this wage for working on Christmas Day. Northern Ireland workers are the most likely to be paid the normal rate. A full breakdown of pay per region can be seen below:

Bradley Post, Managing Director of RIFT tax refunds, comments:

“Christmas is a time for families and loved ones to meet and celebrate, however, we need to also pay tribute to those hard workers who keep the country running over the Christmas period.

Our research suggests that employees might not have a choice in working Christmas and where possible, I would like to see employers giving their staff some form of reward.”

Full information at:



Data: Data was conducted via Onepoll on behalf of RIFT tax refunds. The data was sent to 2000 UK respondents who are employed and celebrate Christmas, 873 of whom have worked on Christmas Day in the past five years. Data was conducted between 19/10/2018-30/10/2018.

About RIFT Tax Refunds

RIFT Tax Refunds is one of the UK’s leading tax refunds specialists, helping UK employees successfully claim back the tax they are owed from HMRC.