YORKSHIRE Building Society colleagues in Skipton have received an early Christmas gift this year as the Society has announced it is giving all its colleagues an extra day off for Christmas Eve.

As Christmas Eve falls on a Thursday this year, it means that colleagues will receive a full five day break over the festive season as they will return to work on December 29.

It also means customers will need to plan ahead if they need to contact the Society around this time as the Society’s Skipton branch in Keighley Road and its call centres will be closed during these dates.

The Society is recognising the immense challenges of 2020 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. Around 1,400 staff also switched to home-working.

Mike Regnier, Chief Executive of Yorkshire Building Society, said: “We wanted to do something that recognised the extraordinary year that all our colleagues have been through.

“I hope that by giving our colleagues in Skipton and across the UK Christmas Eve off this year and providing an extended break to relax and spend time with family at home shows in part my immense gratitude to them.

“From the beginning, 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.

“We have kept as many branches open as we could throughout the pandemic and helped more customers to access our online services so they could manage their money safely from home. I 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.