Enterprise Bill Receives Royal Assent: Additional Protections for Shop Workers


2 mins

Posted on 10 May 2016

The Enterprise Bill received Royal Assent on 4 May 2016. The Act strengthens the rights of shop workers to opt out of working on Sundays. 

Workers working in large shops will only have to give one month’s notice that they object to working on Sundays, instead of three months. There will be a new right for shop workers to opt out of working more than their normal Sunday hours, with those working in large shops having to give one month’s notice and those working in small shops having to give three months’ notice.

Employer obligations to give information about the opt-out rights will be clarified. They will have to provide an explanatory statement notifying employees of their opt-out rights, including the right to opt out of working more than their normal Sunday hours. The statement must also set out where shop workers can find support and advice about their rights. Failure to do so will result in a reduction in the notice the employee has to give to opt out, down to seven days for those working in large shops and down to one month for those working in small shops. 

In addition, where an employment tribunal finds that an employer failed to notify a shop worker of their opt-out rights as required, the tribunal will be able to award the shop worker a guaranteed minimum award of two weeks' pay, or four weeks' pay where the tribunal considers it just and equitable.

The Government’s original plan to allow councils to extend Sunday trading hours were abandoned after being rejected in the Commons.

The Act also introduced a £95,000 cap on exit payments made to public sector workers. 

The Act’s provision are not yet in force.

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