Speculation today and over
the weekend suggests some Ministers are lobbying for a permanent
deregulation of Sunday trading laws in the wake of the temporary
suspension forced through Parliament for the Olympic and Paralympic
Hannett, Usdaw General Secretary said:
"Parliament only agreed a
temporary suspension of Sunday trading laws during the Olympic and
Paralympic Games because the Government promised it was neither a
trial nor Trojan horse for permanent deregulation. Any move to
deregulate now would justifiably be seen as a betrayal of that
commitment and a gross breach of trust.
"Longer Sunday opening hours
won't put more money in the pockets of hard pressed shoppers and
there is no evidence it would boost jobs or growth. It would
however have a very detrimental impact on the family and caring
commitments of our members and fly totally in the face of the Prime
Ministers' commitment to lead a family friendly Government.
"With margins being squeezed
and sales flat lining, the last thing the retail sector needs at
the moment is the prospect of increased overheads for little or no
return. If the Government really wants to boost retail and the
economy as a whole then it would be much better advised to
immediately reduce the rate of VAT."
1. A survey of over 20,000 Usdaw members conducted immediately
after the Chancellor's Budget in March found that:
- 78% oppose the suspension of Sunday trading laws for
eight Sundays during the Olympic Games this summer. Just 11% say
they are in favour of suspension.
- 51% say they come under pressure from their employer to
- 73% say they would come under more pressure to work
Sundays if shops were allowed to open for longer.
A similar survey conducted by Usdaw in 2011 found that 47% of
members have caring responsibilities for children, elderly
relatives or others that make it difficult to work on a Sunday.
2. Usdaw (the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied
Workers) is the UK's fourth biggest and fastest growing trade union
and has over 420,000 members. Membership has increased by more than
20% in the last six years and by nearly a third in the last decade.
Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also
has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing,
chemicals and other trades. For the latest news on Usdaw's
campaigns visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/campaigns