Morrisons is set to close all of its stores on 26th December for the first time in living memory.
The supermarket chain has told its 111,000 workers they will have Boxing Day off as a reward for their hard work during the coronavirus pandemic.
It comes after a difficult 18 months for the often-unsung people who have helped to keep the nation fed during the pandemic.
On a number of occasions, they have seen panic buying to such an extent that shelves have been stripped bare.
They have also faced a rising amount of abuse from shoppers angry at being asked to adhere to social distancing guidelines brought in last year to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Joanne McGuiness, national officer at shop workers’ union Usdaw, said: “The last year-and-a-half has been unlike any other.
“The pandemic meant shop workers stepped up and kept essential services running.
“We welcome Morrisons doing the right thing by their staff with the closure of supermarkets on Boxing Day.
“Key workers have done so much this year and we are asking retailers to give their staff the longest possible break over the festive season to provide them with a well-deserved breather.
“We don’t think this is too much to ask for.”