People working on Christmas Day this year will earn less than they did a decade ago as doctors, prison guards and even clergy battle against stagnant wage increases.
Festive workers across the public sector have been especially hit, according to new research published by the Trades Union Congress (TUC).
The TUC looked at the most-worked jobs on December 25th, and tracked their wages over the last ten years.
All except kitchen staff have seen their real wages fall since 2007. Five workers affected are:
1. Doctors - down by 16.3%
Medics working festive shifts have suffered a monthly wage fall since 2007 of £1089.
2. Prison officers - down by 15.6%
Or £432 a month.
3. Clergy - down by 14.8%
Equivalent to £318 a month.
4. Police officers - down by 10.8%
Or £415 a month.
5. Nurses - down by 5.1%
Or £127 a month.
Yet even more Christmas workers have seen their wages sink too, especially those in low-paid jobs such as cleaners, carers, waiting staff, and farm workers.
Though not all jobs have lost out in the past ten years. Chefs earn on average 9.6% more since 2007, and other catering staff by 3.6%, figures showed.
The TUC’s Midlands Regional Secretary, Lee Barron, said: “Seasonal goodwill is clearly in short supply on pay day.
“While many of us are tucking in to the turkey, the UK’s Christmas workforce will be hard at work keeping vital services running. But their wages are worth even less than they were a decade ago.
“2018 should be the year that the government finally get wages rising across the UK. They can start by ditching their Scrooge-like pay restrictions on our public service workers, and by raising the minimum wage.”
Gary Jacques, who works at Leicestershire Police Service, said: “As someone who works in a 24/7 emergency control room I expect that I will have to work Christmas Day and other bank holidays, it’s part of the job you expect and I am happy to do my bit for the public to assist them at this time and all year around.
“I am proud to work in public services but the loss of earnings and squeeze on money to provide a service can be demoralising. It’s time we were correctly funded and paid.”