Does the thought of forking out for seasonal indulgences hurt you in the wallet? Take comfort in the fact there are lots of opportunities to earn some extra cash. Christmas jobs in London are all over. So take the sting out of waiting for the long road to the January paycheck. Don’t worry—holiday jobs aren’t just about dressing up as elves in shopping malls. Unless of course that’s your thing. Looking for extra pennies year-round? Be sure to read our guide to making money as a focus group panelist.

Before you get going, there are a couple of important things to consider. Employers should pay the London Living Wage of £10.55 an hour, or at least the national minimum wage £7.70 if you’re aged 21-24 and £8.24 if you’re 25 and over.

You also need to know the type of contract you’re being offered. Make sure it’s clear whether the terms are casual (shift-by-shift), a short-term contract or zero hours contract. With zero hours contracts, there’s no obligation for the company to offer minimum hours, and no obligation for you to accept shifts offered. Also, find out if you’re paying tax through PAYE. Otherwise you may need to register as self employed.

So that’s the legal bit, now to show you the money, or rather where to find it.


Probably the most obvious place to start. Most major retailers are looking to shift huge amounts of products through November and December, and need extra pairs of hands to do it.

A quick search of sites like will bring up plenty of results, and some larger retailers like John Lewis, Topshop and Marks & Spencer also advertise on their websites. So it’s worth checking in with those directly as well as recruitment sites, and flexible working sites like e4s.

Dealing with the shopping-frenzied hordes seem a bit much? No problem, not all jobs are customer-facing. There are also positions open for warehouse, stockroom and delivery staff.

Earning potential: £7.38£11.00 per hour

Events, Catering and Promo

With the party season in full swing, Christmas is also a great time to pick up bar work, barista shifts or waiting jobs. Some restaurants and bars hire extra staff to cover the busy period and staff holidays. But there are also lots of events companies offering more flexible ad-hoc shifts.

Events can be from working the bar at an outdoor market, to corporate events and office Christmas parties. Tips are a tasty bonus too, and events can often pay more than retail jobs. Especially if you’re ready for mixology or chef positions.

Promo work can be anything from handing out event leaflets, and product samples to dressing up as Victorian (real job posting) or hosting games-based events. The more outlandish job postings for character work is more likely to appeal to (and be given to) actors and performers.

Find jobs via specialist recruiters like BrightSparks, The Espirit Group, Yes People, and the Disappearing Events Staff Facebook group.

Earning potential: £7.38 – £15+ per hour

Pet Sitting

Christmas Jobs London Petsitting
Photo by

Pet-loving cheapos can earn a little extra cash from the comfort of a living room, as many people need reliable pet sitters while they’re away in December. Sign up with companies like Cat in a Flat to cosy up with cats and dogs for a little extra coinage this winter.

Earning potential: Rates negotiable/dependent on experience

General temping

Christmas work temping
Photo by Potemkin

December is great for picking up the odd bit of office work too. Particularly in the last week before Christmas and the days between Christmas and New Year. Some offices are shut completely for the holidays, but those that aren’t often need admin support and reception cover. For you that might mean reading a book even and picking up the phone every now and then. Check sites like and for job postings. We can confirm that holiday boredom is much better when you’re being paid for it!

Earning potential: £10-£12 per hour

First Published Nov 2016

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