Campaigning to retain the existing Sunday Trading regulations

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  • Usdaw's survey of 1,500 staff in large stores in October 2014 showed that two-thirds already came under pressure to work on Sundays when they did not wish to, with even more carers coming under pressure – nearly three quarters.

  • 91% of Usdaw's members do not want to see Sunday trading hours extended.

  • Only 25% of parents are content with their current work-life balance, with 77% feeling that this is because of work constraints. Shopworkers fear that extending Sunday trading hours would mean they are forced to work more on Sundays, severely impacting their family time and work-life balance. (Social Market Foundation 2015)

The recent intensifying of competition in retail, the squeeze on costs and overall staffing reductions have led to more widespread practices of changing staff hours 'to suit the needs of the business' and increased flexibility demanded of staff to match their working hours to the times when shops are most busy.

Many retail workers are parents and/or carers.  Sundays are important family time when children are not at school and few care options are available.  Most staff have to work on Saturday, retail's busiest day, so Sundays are very important to them.

Whilst shopworkers do have the right to opt out of Sunday working, many find they are unable to use it due to pressure from management, and the fact that their working hours can be cut if they opt out of Sundays – which most cannot afford.

Sunday working interferes with family life, especially on the ability of parents to spend quality time with their children who may well be at school, and partners who work Monday-Friday/Saturday.  The shorter Sunday hours allow even those who do have to work to finish early and have some family/social time or to attend a religious service – often the only time for this is the weekend as so many staff have to work Saturdays (still the busiest day in retail).

Sunday Trading Applying the Family Test, Social Market Foundation, September 2015