While many of us this Christmas will spend time with friends and family, but perhaps less thought will be given to those elves who make Christmas what it is.
The Whip has undertaken a 12-month undercover investigation into the startling conditions faced by workers inside Santa’s workshop, managing to reveal illegal and unsafe conditions, as well as a culture of bullying, harassment and abuse.
A far cry from the rosy image of a cosy workshop, log fires and candy canes, workers told us of their fear of going into work each day. One worker has now made the brave decision to breach their non-disclosure agreement and come public with a startling account of their experience in these conditions.
The worker in question, named Gumdrop Jingleby, told The Whip about the 18 months they spent employed in Santa’s workshop.
“Occasionally he would make me sit on his lap and tell me I had been naughty this year; he used to call me ‘my little hoe hoe hoe’. I can still remember how his breath smelled of coffee, whiskey and fags, and how he had remnants of mince pies caught in his facial hair. Who would have expected such behaviour from a fat, bearded old man.”
Gumdrop went on to detail the punitive measures in place to keep workers in line, telling us, “3 instances of lateness in a six-month period meant you’d get put on the naughty list, and that effectively meant you lost your lunch break and had to work away from the other elves.”
It is therefore unsurprising that many elves are looking for alternative employment. But for these workers, who are not used to life outside Lapland and who wear their normal elfish attire at job interviews, including shoes with bells on, work can be difficult to come by. One worker told us that when they did receive a job offer for a Sports Direct warehouse, the same warehouse they left due to low pay and poor conditions, they accepted it on the grounds that anything was better than having to stay working for Father Christmas.
With the case against Santa now going to court, it remains to be seen what will be done to help Santa’s accusers.