By George! 450 staff given day off

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Patriotic bosses at one of Doncaster’s biggest employers gave staff the day off – at a cost of more than £250,000.

Workers at Doncaster’s One Call Insurance were told to take yesterday off to mark St George’s Day, the annual day to mark the patron saint of England.

Four hundred and fifty workers at the call centre off White Rose Way were able to enjoy a lie-in – but the move is expected to cost the firm as much as £280,000.

One Call managing director Nik Springthorpe said: “The decision was made by myself and the board of directors to close to celebrate our patron saint.

“The Scots celebrate St Andrew’s Day, the Welsh celebrate St David’s Day and the Irish celebrate St Patrick’s Day, so why don’t we?

“I wanted to give all my employees the day off.”

The firm’s sprawling headquarters remained silent apart from the emergency claims department which was manned throughout the day.

Mr Springthorpe added: “Although we will lose a significant amount of money, we are very patriotic and we hope that other businesses in the UK follow our lead.”

The headquarters closed for phone calls at the end of Monday and reopened for business again this morning.

Mr Springthorpe added: “We estimate giving staff the day off could cost as much as £280,000.

“But the decision was made to prove to the UK that we should stand united and be proud of the heritage and support the right to celebrate the patron saint of England.”

Meanwhile, in Doncaster town centre, market shoppers were treated to the sight of George and the dragon doing battle to entertain youngsters.

The colourful pairing spent the day duelling in the Market Place, handing out balloons to youngsters at the Doncaster Markets event.

Meanwhile, the annual St George’s Day Parade involving Doncaster Scouts parading through the town before a service at Doncaster Minster will take place on Sunday at 3pm.