An expert has warned employers that workers who are kept on standby over the Christmas bank holiday period must be compensated adequately if their morale is to be maintained.

Employment Review editor Noelle Murphy observed that staff who are required to cover Christmas Day and New Year's Day are more likely to be susceptible to dissatisfaction than others and advised firms to make a special effort.

"Just under half of employers will require employees to be on standby … over the Christmas and new year bank holidays," she explained. "The first thing that employers can do is make sure they compensate employees."

Ms Murphy added that festive parties can be one way of fostering improved team spirit among employees, although she noted that just 17 per cent of participants in a recent poll intended to offer a Christmas bonus.

Her comments came after research from revealed one-third of small business owners plan to work over Christmas Day or Boxing Day this year.

Posted by Ross George