Almost six per cent of UK employees work on Boxing Day, while 3.3 per cent work on Christmas Day itself, according to the Office for National Statistics.
However, employees in London were the least likely to be working on Christmas Day, with 2.5 per cent of the workforce working compared to 4.5 per cent in Scotland.
And women are more likely than men to be working – at 3.8 per cent compared with 2.9% – owing largely to their greater employment in roles such as social care.
Over 1m people worked on Christmas Day in 2014, the latest year of data, while 1.86m worked on Boxing Day.
Care workers and nurses account for much of the Christmas Day employment – with clergy unsurprisingly showing the highest level of working on the most important day of the Christian year.
Meanwhile on Boxing Day health workers are joined by retailers and food services as consumers head out to make the most of sales.
“Not surprisingly, health and care workers feature heavily, as do hospitality staff, perhaps reflecting many people not wanting to cook for themselves on the big day,” said ONS statistician Mark Chandler.
“Nor is it surprising that a quarter of midwives worked – ONS figures show that 1,440 babies were born on Christmas Day 2014 in England and Wales, so midwives would have been busy bringing some special joy to the world,” he added.