Sunday working

Overview

Last Modified  07 April 2016

The Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA) provides shop and betting workers with the right to object to working on Sunday, in certain circumstances. Although the Act refers to Sunday 'workers', this definition actually only applies to employees.

Employees that have been in shop work or in the betting industry for a certain period of time, and who are not employed solely to work on Sundays, are classed as 'protected workers', giving them the right not to be required to work on Sundays.

Employees required by their contracts to work on Sundays can opt out - or opt back in - to Sunday working, provided they are not employed soley for Sunday working. They must give their employer notice if they wish to do so.

Dismissing employees for asserting their statutory rights in relation to Sunday working will be automatically unfair.

Future developments

Relaxation of Sunday trading hours - proposal dropped
The government has abandoned its plans to devolve decisions on Sunday opening hours for larger stores to local authorities. The changes were to be introduced through the Enterprise Bill and would have involved amendments to shop workers’ rights, such as improved opt-out rights. The proposals were rejected by the House of Lords in March 2016 and ministers confirmed they would not be resurrected.