You refresh your rota. Nothing yet. You wait, you check, you sigh. You’ve been given the Boxing Day shift. Others get to linger in the feeling of Christmas, but you are forced back into reality and all it’s shopping horrors. The Boxing Day sales are scenes of madness. Falling prices lead to falling standards, and people will do anything to get a bargain. But should the shops be allowed to open on Boxing Day?
As a consumer, there is nothing better than the sales. They have become a ritual and the shopping highlight of the year. You would be a fool not to rush out with the rest of the world and grab what you can. But for employees, it’s a different story. With over 200,000 signatories on a recent petition on change.org it is clear that workers in retail want the day off. They are sick of having Christmas ruined by busy crowds and rude shoppers. Employees are asking for change.
But should the doors be shut on the most profitable day of the year? Boxing Day spending allows companies to keep so many people in employment.
We like to think that the world isn’t controlled by money, but the reality is this: if companies don’t make money, people don’t have jobs. Would it be preferable to close shops on Boxing Day and have fewer jobs for the rest of the year? I don’t think so.
Another benefit of keeping the shops open is that, for most, Boxing Day wages are higher. Staff are compensated, for the inconvenience of it being the festive season, with pay and a half or even more. It is unfortunate that employees in retail have their Christmases cut short, though they are being paid. I have worked Boxing Day, I have complained about my shift, the long queues and my tired feet. But I did not complain about the money. Maybe it’s just something that we have to deal with. The world can’t stop just because it’s Christmas. Working on Boxing Day can be difficult, but worst comes to worst, at least employees get higher pay and often a good story out of it. The real question is, who are retailers loyal to? Sadly, for employees, it’s to their customers and most importantly their profits.