Food retailers M&S and Morrisons give staff extra day off

By Helen Adams
After a difficult year on the frontlines of Covid-19, food retail staff at M&S and Morrisons supermarkets can enjoy an additional day off at Christmas

Earlier this month, food retailer Morrisons informed staff that they would have an extra day off during the Christmas holidays - 26th December, Boxing Day.

Now, Marks and Spencers has extended the same offer to their employees - after an exceptionally tough year for food retailers.

Both food retailers advertise to middle-class customers. Mars & Spencer is headquartered in London and has a revenue of £10bn. Morrisons is headquartered in Bradford, with a revenue of £17bn.

 

Challenging circumstances for food retail staff

After a turbulent year for supermarket staff, the frontline workers of food retailers M&S and Morrisons can fully relax on Christmas Day, knowing that the following morning can be a slow one. 

This will allow staff to enjoy more time with their families, then return to work rejuvenated.

"Up and down the country, our colleagues have been there for our customers in the most challenging of circumstances”, said Steve Rowe, Executive Director at Marks and Spencer. “As a small thank you for their incredible hard work, we’ve taken the decision to close our operations on Boxing Day once again this year, to enable our colleagues to spend more time with their family and loved ones."

 

Food retail staff deserve protection from abusive customers 

As previously reported in Food Digital, employees in the food retail sector have been gravely stretched this year. 

Over the pandemic period, retail workers have faced extreme circumstances:

  • With no option of working from home, supermarket staff have been working as usual, with face masks and visors and against the threat of exposure to the virus
  • Staff have endured verbal and physical abuse from customers who refuse to adhere to social distancing regulations or wear a face covering

 

A report published by the Home Affairs Committee highlighted that the current police response to the abuse of retail staff was inadequate and left workers vulnerable to threats and violence.

This extra day off will bring comfort to many, but a new law put in place to protect retail workers from hostile customers will bring lasting and well-deserved relief to staff.

 

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