I am asking constituents to contact me with their opinions on Christmas opening hours. I am particularly interested to hear from retail workers who may have seen some changes to their working arrangements on Boxing Day.
Recently, I attended a Westminster Hall Debate concerning retail staff working on Boxing Day. The debate was prompted by several petitions with hundreds of thousands of signatures and was led by fellow Labour MP Helen Jones. MPs reflected public concerns about the growth in the number of stores opening on 26 December and the impact that has on staff and wider society. A recent USDAW – the union that represents shopworkers – survey found that 93% of retail staff do not want to be in work on Boxing Day.
The survey also found that 78% of shopworkers believe that staff in their store are put under pressure to work on this important bank holiday, which tells us that Boxing Day trading is having a real impact on family life. It is often difficult for retail staff to book the day off work, with the USDAW survey finding that around 60% cannot or are extremely unlikely to be able to book Boxing Day as a holiday.
The USDAW survey of Boxing Day working in retail main headline results found:
• 3,738 members working in retail in England and Wales responded to the survey on 7th December 2016:
• 41.5% of respondents will work this Boxing Day, 25% worked on Boxing Day last year as well.
• 93% said they were not happy to be in work on Boxing Day. Only 1.5% of respondents said they were happy to work on Boxing Day, a further 6.5% said they didn’t mind.
• 78% of respondents said that staff in their workplace were put under pressure to work on Boxing Day.
• Only a minority of staff can take the day off on Boxing Day if they wish. If staff request NOT to work on Boxing Day it is always agreed in only 4.5% of workplaces and usually agreed in a further 36.5%. In 36% of workplaces it is not usually agreed. In 7% of workplaces it is never agreed and a further 16% say they do not bother asking because it would not be agreed.
The recent Westminster Hall Debate and the USDAW survey have shown that there is a rise in the number of retail workers being unable to take this important bank holiday off. I want to know if any retail workers have had a similar experience in Delyn. This is a special time of the year where we should be given the time to meet loved ones.
As the January sales have moved forward to Boxing Day it has meant more retail workers are unable to spend the two days over Christmas to rest and recuperate. I believe there should be the option for those who wish to work and those who do not.
I am interested to here people’s opinions on this. So please do get in touch with me as I would like to work with USDAW in Parliament to bring further prominence to this issue of shopworkers working on bank holidays.