Morrisons to give workers Boxing Day off

Morrisons shop workerImage source, Alamy

Morrisons will close its almost 500 shops on Boxing Day giving more than 110,000 staff the day off.

The supermarket, the UK's fourth-largest, said it wanted to reward staff for working hard in the pandemic.

Last year, some supermarkets gave staff Boxing Day off as a thank you for their hard work keeping essential services running during the pandemic.

Aldi, Lidl, Asda, Marks & Spencer, Pets at Home and The Entertainer were all shut on 26 December 2020.

A spokesperson from Morrisons told the BBC: "Everyone at Morrisons has worked incredibly hard over the last 18 months as we've responded to the unprecedented challenges of a global pandemic, serving our customers and local communities".

"So this year we're taking the exceptional step of closing all our supermarkets on Boxing Day, so as many colleagues as possible can enjoy a two day weekend break with family and friends".

Joanne McGuiness, national officer at shop workers' union Usdaw, said that she welcomed Morrisons "doing the right thing by their staff with the closure of supermarkets on Boxing Day".

"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," she added.

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.

The takeover will mean the supermarket will become a privately owned business when it is finalised over the next few weeks.

Morrisons started life as a market stall in Bradford in 1899, but it was not until 1961 that the first supermarket store opened under the name.