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In the summer budget the Government announced a consultation on reforming Sunday Trading Laws. This consultation started on 5th August and continued until 16th September 2015. The reforms are intended to give powers to local areas to allow larger shops to open for longer on Sundays in England and Wales.
In February 2016, the Government confirmed that all local authorities, and the city mayors of London and Manchester, will have the power, from Autumn 2016, to extend Sunday trading hours in their area, or parts of their areas, (only in England and Wales) and the changes will be made through the Enterprise Bill.
Update – The government were defeated in their plans on the 9th March 2016 and you read the details HERE (from The Guardian) – no further changes to Sunday Trading Laws are now planned.
Large shops with over 280 square metres or more of floor space have legal restrictions on their opening hours. Most can only open on a Sunday for a continuous period of 6 hours between 10am and 6pm. They are also not allowed to open on Easter Sunday or Christmas Day.
Some shops are exempt from these rules, including off-licences, airport, railway and service station outlets, farm shops, some pharmacies and exhibition stands.
Small shops are free to open when they choose.
Currently if you want your shop staff to work on a Sunday, this is the situation:
If the contract doesn’t mention working on a Sunday then you would need to issue a change to their contract that is agreed by both parties, before they can work on a Sunday. If staff do not agree to this change then you could be in breach of contract and your staff could make a claim to an Employment Tribunal.
However, in the following situations your staff may not have to work on a Sunday:
Employers with shop workers should consider how these changes may affect them and review employment contracts and policies to see if any changes are necessary to these documents and inform staff of the upcoming changes.
If you are an Employer and need ongoing professional help with any staff/freelance issues then talk to Lesley at The HR Kiosk – a Human Resources Consultancy for small businesses – our fees are low to reflect the pressures on small businesses and you can hire us for as much time as you need.
Please note that the advice given on this website and by our Advisors is guidance only and cannot be taken as an authoritative or current interpretation of the law. It can also not be seen as specific advice for individual cases. Please also note that there are differences in legislation in Northern Ireland.
Darren Fell, CEO of Crunch, said: "We welcome the government's commitment to adopt the recommendations from the Taylor report. We would however, urge caution that any response does not introduce more red tape, or reduce the ability for entrepreneurs to employ people flexibly."
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