It’s everyone’s biggest nightmare: having to work on Christmas Day. But what does the law say about it?
Legal experts at LegalShield have the answers to some of the most pressing questions.
Do I have to work on Christmas Day?
There is no automatic right for workers to have Christmas Day off, according to the government, which sets bank holidays.
This means that while workers can apply to take December 25 off as a part of their annual leave, employers are not obligated to give their employees paid leave.
LegalShield says whether or not you get Christmas Day off is “entirely up to the contract you agreed with your employer” and advises workers to make sure they know their rights.
Can I get extra pay for working on Christmas Day?
Once again, according to the government, workers do not have an automatic right to be paid overtime rates on public holidays, and that includes Christmas Day.
It is up to your employer whether they decide to give their employees extra pay for working over the holidays.
Can I get a Christmas bonus?
Bonuses are normally given to workers at the discretion of bosses, and are not guaranteed each year – even if they have been previously paid on a regular basis.
But LegalShield says employees are within their rights to argue that bonuses have “become contractual through custom and practice.”
If you are thinking of raising the issue of a Christmas bonus with your employer, LegalShield advises that you read your contract thoroughly, and have a frank conversation about the situation.
What happens if I get snowed in at home?
If we end up with a white Christmas, it is important to know the implications if you are unable to attend work.
Should you be snowed in at home, your employer does NOT have to pay you. The only exception would be in cases where your employer provides your transport to work.
If your workplace shuts due to the weather, your employer must continue to pay you until it reopens.
LegalShield says workers should “never travel in the instance where it is unsafe to do so.
“Most employers will be receptive to a compromise of working from home where possible.”