Motion no: 5


Congress is concerned that many workers in a wide range of different sectors are not receiving a decent break from work over the Christmas and New Year holiday period.

Congress notes the results of the Christmas and New Year working surveys by Usdaw, which show that in Northern Ireland, 80% of respondents said that they spend too little time at Christmas with family and friends.

Christmas Day trading legislation means that nearly all shops do not trade on Christmas Day. However, many retail workers report that for them, Christmas is just a day off, not a holiday. Long hours in the run-up to Christmas and shops re-opening early on Boxing Day leaves many retail workers too exhausted and with insufficient time off to enjoy the Christmas holiday.

Congress is clear that there is no need for excessive working hours in retail over the festive period. Usdaw's survey showed that over half of retail workers in Northern Ireland who worked on Boxing Day reported that their store was either fairly or very quiet.

Congress commits to supporting

Usdaw's campaign to allow retail workers to have quality time with family and enjoy the benefit of the break in the way so many of us do rather than use Christmas Day as a day of recuperation. This campaign is calling for:

  • Early closure on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.
  • Closure on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day.
  • No loss of pay for retail workers when stores are closed.