Christmas Day workers’ pay lower than decade ago, finds TUC

Many people working on Christmas Day are getting paid less now in real terms than before the financial crash, according to new research by the TUC released today (Wednesday).

The TUC looked at the most-worked jobs on 25 December and tracked their wages over the last ten years. All except kitchen staff have seen their real wages fall since 2007.

  • Doctors’ real wages are down over £1,000 a month.
  • Prison and police officers are down over £400.
  • Clergy are down over £300.
  • Security guards and nurses are down over £100.


Christmas workers in low-paid jobs – such as cleaners, carers, waiting staff, and farm workers – have also seen their wages sink.

In 2014, the ONS estimated over a million people work on the day – 3.3% of all employees.

South West TUC Regional Secretary Nigel Costley said:

“Seasonal goodwill is clearly in short supply on pay day. While many of us are tucking in to the turkey, the UK’s Christmas workforce will be hard at work keeping vital services running. But their wages are worth even less than they were a decade ago.

“2018 should be the year that the government finally get wages rising across the UK. They can start by ditching their Scrooge-like pay restrictions on our public service workers, and by raising the minimum wage.”

Prison Officer Association Rep at Bristol Prison Andy Bennet said: “Staff are forced to work extra overtime to make ends meet. Experienced staff are leaving and we are living from day-to-day now whereas we could save before. It is ridiculous for public servants to be just about managing.

”Staff in Bristol get no help with locality allowances. Yet Bristol is the highest outside London for rent. This is a big issue for staff.”