Sainsbury’s admit staff will work Boxing Day after promising it off as a ‘thank you’


One Torbay man whose wife works for Sainbury’s stacking shelves said his family had planned to go away and visit relatives, but now have to return early

Some staff at the Sainsbury's branch have been told they have to work Boxing Day, after being promised it off
Some staff at the Sainsbury’s branch have been told they have to work Boxing Day, after being promised it off

Staff at a Sainsbury’s store are “livid” after being promised Boxing Day off as a thank you, then being told they have to work.

One man whose wife works stacking shelves at the Newton Abbot superstore at Penn Inn, in Devon, said his family had planned to go away and visit relatives, but now have to return early for work.

The man, who wanted to remain anonymous, said management had originally told their workforce the store was staying closed for two days over Christmas as a “thank you” to all staff.

“Now they have found out that people who work evenings at the bigger stores still have to work,” he continued.

“Some people have arranged to travel away from home to see family and now they have to come back early.

“People are livid.

“When they made the announcement they said it was a thank you to ‘all colleagues’. It’s terrible after last Christmas when lots of people didn’t get to see their families – and now it’s happening again. The staff went to work all through Covid when it was really hard and this is how they are being thanked. It’s just not fair!”

Are you a Sainsbury’s member of staff who will have to work on Boxing Day? Email [email protected]

Some staff are up in arms after having their Christmas plans disrupted
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Image:

PAUL STARR Photographer)

A spokesman for Sainsbury’s told DevonLive today: “The vast majority of colleagues will not need to work.

“There will be some shifts in logistics and our stores which will continue as normal so that we can make sure we’re well stocked for our customers when we reopen on the 27th but everyone who supports these shifts will receive an increased rate of pay.”

In September Sainsbury’s, the UK’s second largest grocer, said it would keep all of its supermarket, convenience stores and petrol filling stations shut as a “thank you” to its roughly 170,000 colleagues.

A specially-made video publicising the closure says: “To all our colleagues. Thank you for stepping up. Thank you for stacking up. Thank you for staying calm. Thank you for staying strong. Thank you for keeping us safe. Thank you for everything.”

At the time Sainsbury’s said senior leaders at the firm made the decision after listening closely to colleagues and trade unions.

Simon Roberts, chief executive of Sainsbury’s, said: “Christmas is a really special time for so many, but because of lockdown restrictions last year, lots of us weren’t able to celebrate in the way we wanted.

“In recognition of this and to say a massive thank you to all our colleagues for everything they have done during the last challenging year, we will be closing all of our supermarkets, convenience stores and petrol filling stations, as well as Argos and Habitat stores, this Boxing Day.

“I want to thank our customers in advance for their understanding, which will mean as many of our team as possible can have a well-deserved break to spend time with loved ones.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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