Updated: Friday, 6th December 2019 @ 1:53pm

Santa's (big) helpers: 99,000 North West workers were slogging away on Xmas day

Santa's (big) helpers: 99,000 North West workers were slogging away on Xmas day

| By Abby Robinson

There’s nothing quite like finishing work for the festive period to spend well-earned time on the sofa watching films with a tin of Quality Street.

But for many workers across Manchester this Christmas, dreams of chocolate binges and afternoon Netflix sessions seemed further away than the North Pole.

According to the latest figures from the Office for National statistics more than 863,000 people worked on Christmas day in 2012 and almost 100,000 of those were from the North West.

Altrincham councillor and hypnotherapist, Susan Leigh, revealed she has worked her fair share of Christmas days in the past but insists she is happy to do so.

She told MM: “I just regard it as part of my commitment to my clients. It’s my choice, I’m happy to do it and it’s a very small thing to do to help people feel better at a potentially very difficult time of the year.

“When people know that they have an option to see you, it can often give them a lot of comfort and reassurance to know that there is somebody there that they can touch base with."

The figures show 3.1% of the North West’s population carried out shifts on Christmas Day compared to 3.6% of the North East.

London was the lowest with only 2.1% of its population clocking in on the big day.

Common professions included NHS staff, care workers and police officers to make up the total 2.9% of the UK’s total employment working on Christmas day.

ONS statistician Nick Palmer told MM: “These figures from our Labour Force Survey give a fascinating picture of who works on Christmas Day. They show the huge contribution to our welfare made by groups such as health and emergency service workers.

“We see that 141,000 doctors, nursing staff and midwives were working on the festive day, as well as 39,000 in the police, fire and ambulance services.”

The profession with the highest percentage of people in work were clergy with 49%.

However only 1% of sales assistants and postal workers had to clock in at the shops, and housing officers found themselves at the very bottom of the list with only 1,000  in work.

Mrs Leigh added: “It is a very difficult time for people who are perhaps bereaved or on their own. It is the first time they have been by themselves, perhaps not got access to their children, and it can provide a lot of comfort for them.”  

Image courtesy of Nurse Uncut, with thanks.