Marks and Spencer announces closure on Boxing Day to give employees a rest

Marks and Spencer rewards employees with an extra day of paid leave

British retailer Marks and Spencer (M&S) has announced its decision to close on Boxing Day 2020 to give its employees a rest over the festive period.

The closure of its operations on 26 December is to support the wellbeing of staff and recognise their hard work during the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.

The employer will close 200 of its stores to give all employees more time to rest and recover during the festive period. This follows the UK government’s announcement that it will temporarily relax Covid restrictions over the festive period.

The closure adds to the 15% special bonus payment that the organisation rewarded its staff in April 2020. Any shifts that were due to be worked on 26 December will be moved to another day.

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Steve Rowe, chief executive at M&S, said: “Throughout the pandemic, our employees have gone above and beyond to deliver for our customers and as we enter the busy festive season they are doubling down on their efforts once again to help our customers deliver the Christmas magic for their families and friends.

“This year has been uniquely challenging for everyone and this Christmas, the celebrations we have will be more precious than ever. That is why we have taken the decision to close our operations on Boxing Day, so that our employees can enjoy more special time with their loved ones. This is a big decision, but it is absolutely the right one given the incredible effort everyone has made in the most challenging of circumstances.”