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Sunday trading
09/03/2016 16:08:00

Today the House of Commons is voting on whether to change the law relating to Sunday trading.

There's a strong case for change. At the moment, large stores can only open for six hours on a Sunday, but that restriction doesn't apply to smaller shops and people can shop via the internet whenever they like. The polls show that there's strong public support for a change in the law.

But there are concerns, both about retail workers being forced to work on Sundays and that if shops open all day Sundays will no longer be special.

I believe the Government has come up with a sensible compromise. It is proposing to allow local councils to decide whether to change Sunday trading rules in all or part of their areas and at the same time strengthening protection to make sure retail staff can't be forced to work on a Sunday. This approach would be piloted in 12 different parts of the country for a twelve-month period to assess the impact and there would have to be a further vote in Parliament before it was extended nationwide.

I will be supporting this compromise. Provided retail staff aren't forced to work when they don't want to, those who want to keep their Sundays special can do so and those who want to shop at a time of their choosing can do so too.

UPDATE: Disappointing that although a majority of English MPs voted in favour, the proposal was defeated because the SNP broke their own rule of not voting on issues that don't affect Scotland.

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Readers' Comments

On 21/03/2016 14:10:00 Philip Pinnell wrote:
Having worked for one of the top 4 supermarkets I can assure you that if you want to be offered a job working in a store then not only will your shift rota include your share of Sunday working but unlike junior doctors, there will be no premium and any overtime paid will be at basic rate. Of course you can always refuse - and look elsewhere for a job. Best of luck getting that changed.

Pity the proposal was defeated by Scottish MPs who already have more flexible Sunday hours than England. If they had got independence the proposal would have passed - and the Scots would all be worrying how to get by now the oil revenue isn't what they expected.

 
 

 

 

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Gavin Barwell, 133 Wickham Road, CR0 8TE, Tel  020 8663 8741      © Gavin Barwell  2017       Promoted by Ian Parker on behalf of Gavin Barwell, both at 36 Brighton Road, Purley, CR8 2LG