Leeds-based Asda has announced it will not open its stores on Boxing Day and give thousands of staff “the opportunity stay at home with loved ones in recognition of their efforts as key workers during the Covid 19 pandemic.”
All Asda stores will close at 7pm on Christmas Eve and reopen on December 27.
In an announcement shared by CEO Roger Burnley via email and on his Instagram account, it was confirmed that all of Asda’s 631 stores would close for two days over the Christmas break.
Burnley said: “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 23rd and 27th 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 December 27th.”
Asda staff who were contracted to work on Boxing Day will be paid.
In addition, Asda has also confirmed that “all eligible hourly-paid colleagues are guaranteed to receive 100% of their bonus entitlement for their unstinting hard work and commitment during 2020 – which will be paid in February 2021.”
Asda said the bonus recognition follows a Thank You payment made to staff in June who had worked throughout lockdown “during which time Asda also shielded thousands of vulnerable colleagues on full pay and did not furlough any colleagues.”