The Trades Union Congress (TUC) estimates – based on official statistics – that the number of employees who will work on Friday 25 December is likely to exceed 900,000 this year – an increase of 42,000 (5 per cent) over the last three years.

Care workers (168,000) and medical staff (152,000) account for a big share of those working on Friday 25 December. In what is likely to be a busy festive period for the NHS, 89,000 nurses, 46,000 nursing assistants and 17,000 doctors will all be on duty.

And a large army of chefs (42,000), kitchen assistants (22,000), waiting (15,000) and bar staff (13,000) will be working in hotels, pubs and restaurants.

In addition, 22,000 police officers and 28,000 security guards will be at work. And 15,000 farm workers will be making sure that animals are being looked after.

Christmas Day services will also see 20,000 members of the clergy kept busy.

The TUC analysis shows that workers in the North East (1 in 28) will be the most likely to be at work, followed by those in the East Midlands (1 in 30) and the South West (1 in 31).

People in London (1 in 47) are the least likely to be on shift during Christmas Day.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“Christmas Day is a special day that millions of us spend with our nearest and dearest.

“So we should all spare a thought for the people who will be hard at work while we’re opening our presents, tucking into the turkey and relaxing with our families.

“Many on duty on Christmas Day will be on low pay, especially in sectors like hospitality and social care.

“Let’s stop and remember all those who keep the services we rely upon running during the Christmas break.”