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No Boxing Day ‘Bargains’

 

What is the news?

Discount store Home Bargains will remain closed on Boxing Day to give their ‘hard working staff some extra time off’.

What does the news means?

Most workers are legally entitled to 5.6 weeks’ paid annual leave, however, it is up to an employer whether to include bank holidays as part of this. In the retail sector, it is usual for staff to be expected to work during peak seasons or periods; this often includes the time leading up to Christmas and bank holidays when most private sector employees do not work. Ordinarily, they may be given a day back in lieu to ensure they still receive their minimum allowance. However, this year Home Bargains have taken the decision to close all of its stores so that staff can spend the day with their loved ones. Tom Morris, founder and managing director of Home Bargains, says ‘Christmas is a significant period in the retail calendar, and with staff across the business spending months building up to the occasion every year, we wanted to give them an opportunity to relax and truly enjoy the break with their loved ones.’

What do we think of the news?

The announcement comes at a time when work-related stress is on the high and employers are being urged to take more responsibility for their staff’s wellbeing and work/life balance (see https://www.peoplemanagement.co.uk/experts/legal/what-employers-do-minimise-stress-work and https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2018/08/30/emails-sent-commuting-should-count-work-say-researchers/ for some of our thoughts on this). The cost to Home Bargains of closing down on boxing day may be significant (especially given that customers reportedly spend millions of pounds of Boxing Day alone), however, Home Bargains have clearly taken the decision to put their workers home life first – a good public relations and employee relations decision. Work can impact on an individual’s health and wellbeing so a decision like this sends a positive message out to staff that their hard work is recognised. Long-term, the idea is that motivated staff will have a positive impact on the productivity and effectiveness of a business.

If you would like to talk through any concerns you may have in relation to work-related stress or employee engagement in general, you can contact Solicitor, Heena Kapadi on T: 0161 358 0540 or E: heenakapadi@hrclaw.co.uk or Associate, Siobhan Howard-Palmer on T: 0161 358 0537 or E: siobhanhoward-palmer@hrclaw.co.uk.

This contains a general overview of information only. It does not constitute, and should not be relied upon, as legal advice. You should consult a suitably qualified lawyer on any specific legal problem or matter.