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Fewer than half of workers can afford time off for Christmas

FEWER than half of all workers will be able to take time off this Christmas to celebrate with their families, a survey has shown.

A majority of 2,250 polled could not afford to take a break, with more than seven in 10 saying that their employer does not offer any incentive to work over the festive period.

CV-Library chief executive Lee Biggins, whose organisation conducted the research, said: “The current cost-of-living crisis is casting a shadow over the festive season for UK professionals as an increasing number find themselves compelled to work through Christmas due to financial constraints.

“It is a stark reminder of the profound challenges individuals are facing in maintaining a work-life balance amid rising living costs.

“As businesses navigate these difficult times, it is crucial that they also focus on the well-being of their workforce.”

TUC general secretary Paul Nowak said: "This government has overseen record levels of in-work poverty.

“And most working people’s pay packets have fallen in real-terms over the last decade — the worst squeeze in earnings in more than 200 years. 

“For those struggling to put food on the table and pay their bills, money will always come first, no matter how much they need a break or want to spend time with their families this Christmas. 

“It’s time to reset the dial. Labour’s new deal would be a gamechanger for productivity and boost growth — and get more money in the pockets of workers who so desperately need it.”

Charities have warned that more parents are seeking help to give their children Christmas presents.

Gill Harrison, founder of the Christmas Sparkle Project, which collects gifts for needy children, said: “The cost-of-living crisis means the project has grown enormously and we know there are more people needing help.”

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