Sunday trading rules may be extended
The Government has announced that local councils in England and Wales will be able to decide whether to extend Sunday trading laws in their area.
In addition, rights of shop workers in England, Wales and Scotland to opt out of Sunday working are to be strengthened. Shop workers working in large shops will only have to give one month’s notice that they no longer want to work Sundays (instead of the current three months’ notice). However, the notice required to be given by those working in small shops will remain at three months’.
There will also be a new right introduced so that shop workers can opt out of working their normal Sunday hours. Again, shop workers working in large shops will have to give one month’s notice and those working in small shops will have to give three months’ notice.
The Government will also update and clarify the duty on shops to provide written notice to their shop workers of their opt-out rights. Currently employers must notify shop workers of their right to opt out within two months of commencing employment. Failure to do so reduces the notice the worker must give to one month. Employers will be required to include in the notice details of where shop workers can find support and advice about their rights. Failure to notify workers of their opt- out rights will result in the notice period reducing to seven days for those working in large shops and to one month for those working in small shops.
In addition, where a shop worker brings a related claim in the employment tribunal, and the tribunal finds that the shop failed to notify the worker of their opt-out rights, the employment tribunal will be able to award the worker between two and four weeks’ pay.
These changes will be made by the Enterprise Bill which is currently making its way through Parliament.
Shop workers will continue to be protected against unfair dismissal and detrimental treatment for exercising or proposing to exercise their opt-out rights.
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