The GMB union has accused Yodel's management of "playing the role of Scrooge and saying 'Bah humbug!' " following news that full-time workers at the courier service will not be paid their December wages until they return to work in January, leaving many out of pocket for the period between Christmas and New Year.

Meanwhile, temporary workers at the company are to be paid every two weeks and therefore will be paid during the festive season.

At the same time, self-employed workers will be offered no company discount scheme despite delivering parcels for low rates all year round on Yodel’s behalf.

GMB have previously criticised the company, owned by the billionaire Barclay brothers, for asking for 0% finance on redundancies and forcing self-employed drivers to sign a new contract that keeps them at the company for 28 days or face the threat of no further work and contract termination.

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Commented Steve Garelick, London regional organiser: "GMB know some companies love to play the role of Scrooge over the festive period and say ‘Bah humbug!’ when it comes to paying their staff on time. In this case Yodel are putting pounds before people.

"Yodel may find that GMB members feel such behaviour is counter-productive. After all, a happy workforce is a productive workforce. Perhaps Yodel management have missed this in their management manuals."

Responding to the accusations, Mike Hancox, CEO of Yodel, said: “Reflective of Yodel’s new business operation, earlier this year we informed employees and trade unions about updates to our payment processes. This meant that, from September, monthly pay has been credited to our employees on the first day of each month, or the next working day. The changes mean that our employees were paid on December 2nd 2019, and will next be paid on January 2nd 2020.

“Recognising that these changes may have had an impact on colleagues as they adjust to the new payment period, where necessary we have worked with them to help minimise any potential disruption.”