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Are you taking a break over Christmas or choosing to keep the tools turning?

The festive season is nearly upon us! Across Britain, homes and businesses are being decked with lights and wreaths in preparation for the holidays. But while many are looking forward to time off with family and friends, it seems a significant portion of tradespeople plan to work through at least part of Christmas. Surveys indicate over 20% expect to be on the tools on December 25th itself. So how are your holiday plans shaping up? Will you be putting your feet up or attending to callouts? Read on to see key trends and factors influencing tradespeoples’ decisions this Christmas.

Financial Pressures Limiting Time Off

Perhaps unsurprisingly given the ongoing cost crisis, finances play a major role in trades workers’ plans. Around 19% say they simply cannot afford as many festive days off as previous years. Younger workers seem especially likely to power through the season. 30% of Gen Z and 35% of Millennial tradespeople intend to work over Christmas and New Year. And an eye-watering 58% of all trades workers report being willing to take December 25th callouts specifically. Difficult economic conditions mean that for many, staying on the tools is a financial necessity.

Family Time Being Affected

While some view working as unavoidable, 1 in 3 acknowledge it may affect their ability to spend quality time with loved ones. Given 27% of construction workers struggle with anxiety, depression or stress, maintaining work-life balance is vital for mental health. Industry leaders emphasise that tradespeople deserve proper downtime over Christmas, but financial realities mean many feel unable to take more than a handful of days off. On average, most trades workers plan to take just 5 days through December. The question is, how do you strike the right balance for your situation?

Weighing Up The Decision

Here are some suggestions on weighing up whether to stick with the tools or take a festive break this December:

  • Consider Financial Needs: Calculate costs of being off work during your busiest season versus the earnings from festive jobs. Set a sensible budget.
  • Talk With Loved Ones: Be upfront with family about your work plans so expectations are managed. Discuss holiday traditions and time together.
  • Review Physical/Mental Health: Will working excessively increase stress levels? Do you need rest to avoid burnout?
  • Set Boundaries: If working, be selective with jobs and set rules like maximum hours per day or zones you’ll cover. Don’t overdo it.
  • Check Employee Benefits: Make sure you understand holiday pay, sick pay and other relevant company policies. Use schemes available.

Tradesman Talk

What’s your take – is slowing down over Christmas important for mental health? Or is serving customers through the holidays just part of the job? Are you working or taking time off this December? Share your plans and opinions below!

Until next time, make sure it’s Tradesman Saver.

Sources: Direct line, Ironmongery Direct, Professional Builder


Dean Laming

Dean Laming is a Chartered Insurance Broker with more than 25 years insurance experience. Through various underwriting, operational and management roles, Dean has built up extensive knowledge of how to run a business and is now Managing Director of Tradesman Saver, part of the wider Henry Seymour Group.

All articles by Dean Laming

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