Mark Whitehead 09 February 2016

Sunday trading hours to be extended

Councils will be given powers to extend Sunday trading hours under new regulations expected to be announced in the autumn.

The government says it will allow high streets to compete more effectively with online retailers who accounted for more than 13% of sales last year.

Amendments to the Enterprise Bill were being introduced today.

The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills said it will mean traders can seasonally vary Sunday trading hours to help them take advantage of increased tourism opportunities.

According to Visit Britain, in Sweden full deregulation has increased turnover by 5%.

The proposed changes will mean shop workers will now be able to give one month’s notice to large shops that they no longer want to work Sundays, down from the previous three.

They will also have a new right to opt out of working additional hours and the government will strengthen the duty on employers to notify employees of their rights.

Business Minister Anna Soubry said: '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 in England, Scotland and Wales to opt-out of working Sundays if they choose to, for example because they object on religious grounds or for family reasons.'

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