For companies that apply the BATJIC Working Rule Agreement, Working Rule 4 states that seven working days leave shall be attached to the Christmas holiday period, as well as giving the bank holidays for Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day as leave. This year, companies could finish at close of Friday 23 December and return to work on Monday 9 January. Holidays may be taken at other times by mutual agreement between the employer and employees.
If you are not applying BATJIC, by custom and practice many construction companies close for two weeks over the Christmas period, although there is no general legal requirement to do so under UK Employment law. This year, with weekends, this could mean closing from Friday 23 December 2011 and returning to work on Monday 9 January 2012. Companies should refer to their contract of employment.