December 23, 2013 04:00 ET

On Call at Christmas: 1.9 Million Brits to Work on Christmas Day

- One in 20 British employees will be at work on Christmas Day

- 11% admit they need the money

- One in 50 have called out a plumber on the big day

WALSALL, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwired - Dec. 23, 2013) - It's not only sleigh-riding, bearded men who live in Lapland who'll be busy at work tomorrow - nearly two million Brits will be toiling while the rest of the country is carving the turkey, research finds.

New figures from HomeServe, the 24/7 home emergency specialists, reveal that 6% of British employees - or 1.9 million people - will be at work on Christmas Day this year, from ambulance drivers and air traffic controllers to chefs, shopkeepers, police and plumbers.1

And with one in 50 of us (2%) having called out an engineer on Christmas Day, HomeServe's engineers will be among them - last Christmas day carrying out no fewer than 900 plumbing and heating jobs.

Although the proportion of Brits at work on the big day has remained constant from 2012, 6% more are working on Christmas Eve this year than last year (29% opposed to 23%) - a possible reflection of the 24th falling on a Tuesday rather than a Monday - and 3% more on Boxing Day (10% opposed to 7%).

For many, working on Christmas Day is part and parcel of their jobs. Six in 10 people say the nature of their work means being on call at Christmas, while a further fifth (22%) have fallen foul of unfortunate shift patterns.

However, one in 10 (11%) admit they need the money with a similar proportion choosing to work because of the overtime (9%).

For others, Christmas is a less than festive time. One in 10 (10%) say that Christmas doesn't mean anything to them, so they don't mind working on the big day, while one in 20 (6%) say that they have no one to celebrate the day with, making work a welcome source of distraction and company.

One in three Christmas workers (34%) say they enjoy being part of the big day for other people, while one in five (19%) like the opportunity to make a difference.

HomeServe Memberships CEO Jonathan King said: "Christmas workers play a vital role in making sure one of the most high-pressure days of the year goes without a hitch - or to pick up the pieces should the worst happen. Our team will be working round the clock to ensure that no one is left with a home emergency on the most festive day of the year. We'd like to toast everyone who'll be working on Christmas Day for helping to make it possible for the rest of the country."

Notes to editors:

Research carried out online by Canadean Consumer among a representative sample of 2,000 UK adults in December 2013. 2012 figures from research carried out online by Canadean Consumer among a representative sample of 2,000 UK adults in December 2012

(1) There are 48,844,900 UK adults (ONS) of whom 64% are in some form of employment (Canadean). 6% of employed adults will be working on Christmas Day. Therefore: 48844900 x 0.64 x 0.06 = 1,875,644.

About HomeServe

With over 2,700 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, Homeserve is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network.

HomeServe's tradesmen service provides households with access vetted tradesmen who are qualified to carry out hundreds of different jobs around the home.

Homeserve also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating.

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