Although plans to allow local authorities to extend Sunday trading hours were recently defeated in the House of Commons, the Government is pressing ahead with increased shop worker rights on Sunday working through the Enterprise Act 2016. The Government has yet to indicate when the changes will take effect but I thought I would give you the heads up of what to expect when the changes do come in.

At the moment, shop and betting workers (except those who only work on Sundays) can give their employer notice that they would like to opt-out of Sunday working.  If an opt-out notice is received, then you as the employer cannot schedule the shop or betting worker for Sunday work from three months after receiving the notice.

The Enterprise Act 2016 will give shop workers a new right to object to working more than their normal Sunday working hours. What constitutes ‘normal Sunday working hours' is still to be determined by the Act.

Within two months of the changes taking effect, employers will have to issue an explanatory statement of these new rights to all existing shop workers who may be required to work on Sundays and also to new shop workers when they join.

If, after the Sunday working changes take effect, an employer has not issued explanatory statements within the required timeframes, the notice period for a shop worker's Sunday working rights will be reduced from three months to one month.

Sunday working rights for betting workers will not change.

Remember an employee cannot be penalised or dismissed for exercising Sunday working rights and could bring a claim in the employment tribunal for detrimental treatment or unfair dismissal. There is no minimum service requirement for this type of claim.

I will update you when we hear more as to when this will take effect and if you require assistance in drafting the explanatory statement, please just let us know.

Fiona Haworth. You can contact Fiona on

If you feel that you need guidance or advice on this matter, please call Practical HR on 01702 216573 or email Fiona on the above.


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