Co-op to give more time off to staff during Christmas period

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The Co-op has announced shops on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day will be staffed entirely by staff who do not mind working during the holidays.

The retailer revealed it will close stores early on Christmas Eve and will operate reduced hours on Boxing Day.

The news comes as Sainsbury’s said it will keep all its stores shut this Boxing Day.

The Big 4 grocer said it will keep all of its supermarket, convenience stores and petrol filling stations shut as a “thank you” to its roughly 170,000 colleagues.

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It comes after rivals including Morrisons, Waitrose and Marks & Spencer said they will also keep stores shut on December 26.

The Co-op’s move was welcomed by trade union Usdaw, saying it was “a step in the right direction.”

“Any retailers are taking a different approach to opening stores over the festive period and, following extensive discussions with the company, these changes are a step in the right direction from the Co-op,” Usdaw national officer John Gorles said.

“The pandemic showed just how important shopworkers are to our society and communities, as they stepped up and kept essential services running throughout.

“Key workers have done so much this year and we don’t think it is too much to ask to give them the longest possible break over the festive season. Usdaw continues the campaign for stores not to trade on Boxing Day, along with New Year’s Day in Scotland.”

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