STAFF at a York building society are getting an extra day off over Christmas for the second year running.

Yorkshire Building Society workers in York have received an early Christmas gift this year, as Christmas Eve falls on a Friday this year, it means they will receive a full five-day break over the festive season as they will return to work on Wednesday, December 29.

The firm say it also means customers will need to plan ahead if they need to contact the society around this time as the York branch in Feasegate and its call centres will be closed during these dates.

This is the second year that the society has given colleagues Christmas Eve off and recognises the immense challenges of the last two years where its staff have gone above and beyond in their roles. As key workers they have kept the vast majority of branches open throughout the pandemic and call centres have remained open to provide essential financial services to customers and the 1,400 staff also switched from office to home-working.

Mike Regnier, Chief Executive of Yorkshire Building Society, said: “We wanted to do something that recognised the extraordinary couple of years that our colleagues have been through. I hope that by giving our colleagues in York and across the UK Christmas Eve off again this year and providing an extended break to relax and spend time with family at home shows in part my immense gratitude to them.

“Since March last year, our response to Covid-19 has been to focus on the key priorities of keeping members in their homes, making sure their savings are secure and accessible, and looking after our colleagues’ safety and wellbeing. Without the massive efforts of our colleagues none of this would have been possible. I also hope customers understand why we have made this decision to recognise our colleagues in this way after this unprecedented year.”

The mutual has not furloughed any staff this year and has also offered colleagues unlimited dependents and carers leave at full pay and anyone who is shielding, unwell or needs to self-isolate and cannot work from home qualifies for paid sick leave at their full salary.

Customers that are registered for online account management will be unaffected by this announcement.