CHRISTMAS will come early for Sandwell Council employees this and future years as offices will close longer this festive period.

Offices and none essential services will be closed from Monday, December 23 until Monday, December 30.

Council leader Darren Cooper said: "In order to make office accommodation efficiency savings and in view of the limited impact that the closure of non-essential services would have on the public, I approved the closure of council offices for an additional two days on Monday, December 23 and Tuesday, December 24.

"Employees not undertaking essential services will be required to take two days leave."

He added: "A similar arrangement will be considered in 2014 and future years."