Christmas jobs

The festive season is fast approaching and Santa isn't the only one who needs extra help. The holidays can be a great time to make some extra cash in between having your 10th mince pie of the day. As our Christmas gift to you, The Mix goes on a mission to find the best Christmas jobs.

A young man is looking for Christmas jobs. This is a full-body image.

Who’s hiring for Christmas jobs?

Despite the less-than-promising economic state of the country, there’s still an abundance of Christmas jobs available. Whether you wanna use that money to go towards gifts for the fam or those new shoes you’ve had your eye on – we’re here to help you make your Christmas wishes come true.

The most obvious Christmas jobs are in the retail industry. Every year massive companies like Marks and Spencer, John Lewis, Sainsbury’s, ASDA, Tesco, and Boots hire thousands of extra Christmas workers. These jobs can be anything from temporary customer assistants to cashiers. 

And if you don’t fancy retail, there are still loads of other opportunities. For example, Royal Mail Christmas casuals are always in high demand to help them during their busiest period. If that sounds appealing, then check out their jobs site here.

Also, the huge number of events put on during the festive period means catering firms and hospitality outlets are also hiring. This also has a knock on effect. Childcare centres may also take on extra helpers since there’s increase in enrolments during holiday periods. So, there’s really an endless amount of opportunities for Christmas temp and part time work to choose from.

How should I apply?

You can apply online with most of the large retailers. Just keep in mind that their websites may not provide details about local openings. This means that it’s probably a good idea to search for a location close to you and visit it in person armed with copies of your CV. We’d caution you to avoid busy times such as evenings and weekends. That way you’ll have a better chance at speaking with a manager. And since most seasonal jobs don’t begin until December, November is the perfect time to start looking.

Where will it lead?

Lots of seasonal workers are offered long-term employment. So if you want something more permanent, take advantage of any training schemes you find out about. Plus, it never hurts to go the extra mile during work e.g. folding the clothes without being told to. This article with some tips on going from temp to perm might be useful.

Of course, not all jobs will offer the opportunity to stay on beyond a Christmas temporary job. However, Marks and Spencer Christmas jobs, or even John Lewis Christmas jobs, still provide valuable experience to add to your CV. Not to mention, a good employment reference will definitely help you find a permanent job. Plus you’ll probably wind up meeting a pretty cool, diverse group of people.

Will they take me if I’m a student?

A lot of retailers actually look to hire students as seasonal staff – not only are they available at the right times of year, they’re usually kept in reserve for other holidays. For instance, Both Sainsbury’s and ASDA say they hire colleagues that span many walks of life, with a large proportion of their returning seasonal colleagues being students. On the other hand, some employers may be more hesitant and prefer to take on people with the desire to stay on permanently. Either way, it’s best to be upfront about your situation.

Does my Christmas job have rights?

Even if you’re only employed temporarily, you’re still entitled to be paid at least the minimum wage.

You should also have paid holidays – currently 5.6 weeks per year for those in full-time employment. Although the amount you’ll receive depends on how many hours you work each week, and your employment period. Businesses do have the right to decide when you can take these holidays. It’s totally possible, especially if you’re just working for a couple of weeks, that they’ll ask you not to take any. In this case, they’ll pay you for the holidays you’ve accrued when you finish up. The good news is that if you earn over £120 (before tax) per week and you’re ill for more than four days in a row, you’ll also be entitled to statutory sick pay. For more info, check out our article on sick pay here.

How will Christmas work affect my JSA or universal credit?

If you’re receiving Jobseekers Allowance, you’ll automatically lose your entitlement to JSA if you start working more than 16 hours per week. For Universal Credit, the amount you get will reduce depending on how much you earn. And there’s maximum earning threshold of £557 per month, or £335 if you also receive housing support. That being said, you should always talk to your Jobcentre Plus about your individual circumstances. If you do, you may find out that you’re eligible for a job grant and/or can continue to receive other benefits.

Check out Marks And Spencer Christmas jobs here and John Lewis Christmas jobs here.

Next Steps

By Nishika Melwani

Updated on 01-Jun-2022