In August 2015 we blogged on the launch of the Government’s consultation into whether Sunday trading rules should be devolved to local areas in England and Wales.
The Consultation response has recently been published and reveals that 76% of respondents (which include medium to large businesses, business representative organisations and local authorities) believe that such decisions should be made at a local level so that local needs and preferences can be fully considered.
This devolution of power has been drafted into the Enterprise Bill, which is currently being considered by Parliament. This Bill also contains greater freedoms for shop workers to “opt-out” of working on Sundays. At the moment, workers in large shops (shops with a retail area greater than 280 square metres) must give three months notice to “opt out” of Sunday working, however, this will be reduced to one month. Workers will also be able to opt-out of working additional hours on a Sunday. Finally, the Bill is expected to clarify employers’ duties to notify workers of their right to opt-out of Sunday working and provides the worker with some recourse against its employer should it fail to do so in the form of shorter notice periods to “opt-out” and a potential Tribunal award of at least two week’s pay.