Morrisons will close its almost 500 shops on Boxing Day in order to give its more than 110,000 staff the day off.
According to the UK’s fourth-largest supermarket chain, it wanted to reward staff for working hard in the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic with an extra day of leave.
Last year, some supermarkets gave staff Boxing Day off as a thank you for their hard work keeping essential services running during the pandemic, with chains Aldi, Lidl, Asda, Marks & Spencer, Pets at Home and The Entertainer all shutting 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 the union 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 has come just weeks before the conclusion of a takeover battle that will see the supermarket become a privately owned business.