How to Find Seasonal Christmas Work in London

Becky Matthews
london seasonal work christmas
Photo by P&P Photo used under CC

Christmas is coming, and if the thought of forking out for seasonal indulgence hurts you in the wallet, take comfort in the fact there are lots of opportunities to earn some extra cash. Seasonal work is plentiful in London, so take the sting out of waiting for the long road to the January paycheck. Never fear, holiday jobs are not only about dressing up as elves in shopping malls, unless that’s your thing.

Before you get going, there are a couple of important things to consider. Employers should pay the London Living Wage of £9.75 an hour, or at least the national minimum wage £6.95 if you’re aged 21-24 and £7.20 if you’re 25 and over.

You also need to be clear on 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 (where there is no obligation for the company to offer minimum hours, and no obligation for the employee to accept shifts offered) and whether you’re paying tax through PAYE, otherwise you may need to register as self employed and be responsible for your own contributions from this employment.
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, but 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

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

Earning potential: £7.20 – £10 per hour

Christmas bar
Photo by Chris Goldberg used under CC

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 particularly 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/experiential work is more likely to appeal to (and be given to) actors and performers.

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

Earning potential: £7.20 – £15+ per hour

A cat by a Christmas tree
Photo by K-nekoTR

Pet Sitting

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 or Fantastic Petcare to cosy up with cats and dogs for a little extra coinage this winter.

Earning potential: Rates negotiable/dependent on experience

General temping

December is great for picking up the odd bit of office work too, particularly in the last week before Christmas, and the days in 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, even if it’s just having someone there to pick up the phone every now and then. Check sites like and for job postings, because holiday boredom is much better when you’re being paid for it!

Earning potential: £10-£12 per hour

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