Morrisons has announced it will give staff Boxing Day off for the first time in living memory.
Bosses at Big 4 grocer said employees can have Boxing Day off this year as a thank you for their hard work during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The supermarket made the announcement to its 111,000 workers today.
Last year, several rivals agreed to give staff the day off to spend time with families and loved ones after one of the hardest years in retail, with shelves stripped bare and workers battling to keep the nation fed during the pandemic.
Asda, Marks & Spencer, Aldi and Lidl all said they would remain shut on December 26, despite having opened in previous years.
Big 4 grocers Morrisons, Tesco and Sainsbury’s were open on Boxing Day, although some offered staff incentives to work.
“The pandemic meant shop workers stepped up and kept essential services running. We welcome Morrisons doing the right thing by their staff with the closure of supermarkets on Boxing Day,” Trade union Usdaw national officer Joanne McGuiness said.
“Key workers have done so much this year and we are asking retailers to give their staff the longest possible break over the festive season to provide them with a well-deserved breather. We don’t think this is too much to ask for.”
The move by Morrisons comes just weeks before the conclusion of a takeover battle that will see the supermarket become a privately owned business, with private equity houses Fortress and Clayton, Dubliner & Rice (CD&R) both making bids.
There have been concerns that staff welfare could drop under new ownership, but both suitors have vowed to maintain standards for employees.
with PA Wires