Can I refuse to work on Boxing Day? What are my rights and what day is it?

But for those working in retail or the emergency services it can be tough to get annual leave around the festive period.

Employees in those industries and at other companies that stay open are often forced to work immediately after Christmas on Boxing Day.

Home Bargains may have won praise after they announced they will be closed giving its 17,000 employees an extra day off to "thank them for their hard work".

The Boxing Day closures will mean their shops will shut on Christmas Eve night and won't open again until the morning of December 27.

But what does it mean for other retail workers? Can they refuse to work on Boxing Day? And what are their rights?

Can I refuse to work on Boxing Day?

Nearly everyone in the UK is entitled to 28 days paid leave including bank holidays a year.

But there is no automatic right to paid public or bank holidays, according to Acas.

An employer can choose to include these as part of statutory annual leave.

They can refuse to give leave at certain times but they can’t refuse to let an employee take any holiday at all.

Your boss can also force you to take holiday at certain times of year like Christmas and New Year or bank holidays when your workplace may be closed.


When is Boxing Day?

Boxing Day is on December 26, the day after Christmas, which means Boxing Day this year will be on Wednesday.

When Christmas is on a Saturday or Sunday, the Christmas and Boxing Day bank holidays get forwarded to the next working day.

Since Christmas is on a Tuesday this year, this does not apply.


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