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ASDA to close all stores on Boxing Day to give staff time to see families
9 December 2020, 17:44 | Updated: 9 December 2020, 19:19
ASDA will close all its stores on Boxing Day to give staff time off to see their families and many will receive a Christmas bonus.
The supermarket joins Marks and Spencer in deciding to shut its doors on 26 December - a day that is usually busy for shoppers following Christmas Day.
Staff will be given the day off to stay at home with their loved ones who they "may not have seen for many months" and frontline workers are set for a festive bonus.
It comes after the government announced on 24 November that it would relax coronavirus restrictions between 23 and 27 December, meaning three households could come together in their homes to celebrate Christmas.
Roger Burnley, ASDA's CEO, told staff: "This has been a challenging year and you have all done an incredible job, continuing to serve our customers and communities while juggling so many other commitments.
"But it's also been challenging from a personal perspective as we have not been able to spend time with our families and friends, which has been hard for us all.
"As you know, the strict guidelines set out by the government will change between 23 and 27 December and more households will be able to gather together.
"This is, of course, our busiest time of year. But it was important for us to give as many of you as possible the opportunity to spend this time with those loved ones that you may not have not seen for many months so, uniquely for this year, we will not reopen our stores until 27 December."
The decision will mean all 631 UK stores will remain closed on 25 and 26 December, while its shops will shut at 7pm on Christmas Eve.
Staff who were scheduled to work on Boxing Day will still be paid for the shift, while all eligible hourly-paid colleagues will receive a guaranteed 100 per cent bonus.
Several supermarkets have already chosen to give their workers a well-earned day off this Christmas.
Marks and Spencer announced it will give staff Boxing Day off due to the relaxed Covid restrictions over the festive period, while Aldi will be shut on 26 December and 1 January.
Waitrose shops will be shut on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, except those in Welcome Break motorway service stations and Shell forecourts, some of which will continue to be open for 24 hours. As usual, John Lewis will not be open on 25 or 26 December.
Paddy Lillis, general secretary of the shopworkers' union Usdaw, said: "When the country faced a crisis unlike any in our lifetime, shopworkers stepped up and kept essential services running.
"They continued to work and faced increased levels of violence and abuse, as well as being worried about catching Covid-19 "So we welcome Asda doing the right thing by their staff with the closure of stores on Boxing Day."