What are the restrictions on Sunday working for retail and betting workers?

There are special laws in place covering Sunday working for betting shop and retail workers, including workers on race tracks. The law changed when Sunday trading was introduced, allowing small shops and betting shops to trade on Sundays and larger shops to trade for six consecutive hours on Sundays.

Under the Sunday Trading Act 1994, all shop and betting shop workers can opt out of Sunday working, unless Sunday is their only working day.

They can opt out at any time, even if they agreed to work Sundays in their contract of employment, by giving at least three months’ notice. An employer is not allowed to reject this notice.

At the end of the notice period, the employer can no longer require the worker to work on Sundays.

Employers must give their staff written notice of their right to opt out, within two months of their employment start date. If they fail to do this, staff need only give one month’s notice to opt out.

Your employer must not subject you to a 'detriment', for example, denying you a pay rise because you opted out of Sunday working. Dismissal because you opted out of Sunday working will be automatically unfair.

The Enterprise Act 2016 contained some changes to the rules on opting out of Sunday working. in the retail sector. These changes were supposed to make it a little easier for shopworkers to opt out of working on Sundays. However to date, these changes have not been brought into force by the current government and there is no date scheduled for their implementation.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.

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