FATHER Christmas impersonators are being offered £800 a shift to spread festive cheer as Britain has hit with a Santa shortage.
Hundreds of Father Christmases are needed in grottoes to entertain kids up and down the country.
And businesses are getting so desperate that some are offering a whopping £100 per hour — more than six times the more usual Santa rate of £15 an hour.
No experience is needed, with one ad reading: “The ideal candidate must have some knowledge of Christmas.
“However, training will be provided along with a realistic costume and the ability to earn various amounts.”
In many areas, wages for Santas has nearly tripled – to £40 an hour.
But one job listing searching for “Father Christmas actor” in Basildon, Essex, is offering £75-£100 an hour – £17,000 for the month of December.
Indeed blames the lack of candidates on waning appetite for seasonal roles.
Others reckon workers want to avoid jobs where they may be more at risk of catching Covid.
Jack Kennedy, UK economist at Indeed, said: “With a glut of jobs available, people are less interested in seasonal jobs than before and on top of that very few are urgently seeking work.
“As a result, employers across the country are offering well-above minimum wage and in some cases the equivalent of hundreds of pounds per day to lure Santa and his elves.”
Mitch Allen, self-styled “Head Elf” at HireSanta, added: “We’ve seen an increase in people looking for Santas in the UK.”
It comes as lorry drivers are being offered up to £70,000-a-year and £2,000 joining bonuses in order to take up delivery roles for major UK supermarkets.
And Britain faces a pigs in blankets and ham shortage at Christmas due to a reported lack of butchers.