Devolving Sunday trading hours
17 February 2016
With the extension of Sunday trading due this autumn, the Government will be strengthening the duty on employers to notify employees of their rights about working on Sundays.
The Government is introducing amendments to the Enterprise Bill to hand local authorities the power to extend Sunday opening hours. Local retailers will have the flexibility to seasonally adjust hours to enable them to better compete for trade. Last year, internet retailers accounted for 13.8% of all retail spending in December 2015.
This is part of a package of measures to devolve Sunday trading laws to Local Authorities allowing councils to ‘zone’ any relaxation so they will be able to prioritise high streets and city centres.
The measures also include greater freedoms for shop workers to ‘opt-out’ of working Sundays if they choose to, for example because they object on religious grounds or for family reasons. These rights will apply in England, Wales and Scotland, whereas the Sunday trading rules apply in England and Wales only.
Shop workers will now be able to give just 1 month’s notice to large shops that they no longer want to work Sundays, down from the previous 3 months, and will have a new right to opt out of working additional hours. The Government will also strengthen the duty on employers to notify employees of their rights about working on Sundays.
A factsheet has also been published outlining the new measures.