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Usdaw Ne'er Day trading petition secures a long overdue Scottish Government consultation after a 14 year delay

Date: 15 June 2021 Retail trade union Usdaw has secured a Scottish Government consultation on large stores closing on New Year’s Day, which is being launched today. The move follows an Usdaw petition to the Scottish Parliament, which was supported by the Public Petitions Committee who pressed Ministers to commit to a consultation.
The necessary consultation, as set out in the Christmas Day and New Year's Day Trading (Scotland) Act 2007, invites employees and retail businesses to comment on closing large retail businesses on New Year’s Day and can be completed at: https://consult.gov.scot/economic-development/new-year-s-day-trading-for-large-retailers/
 
Tracy Gilbert – Usdaw Regional Secretary for Scotland says: “Today’s launch of a consultation on large stores closing on New Year’s Day, after an unnecessary 14 year delay, is a step forward in our campaign to get a proper break for shopworkers over the festive period.
 
“As key workers delivering the essential service of keeping the nation fed, shopworkers deserve a decent break over the festive period. They have worked long hours in difficult circumstances throughout the pandemic, faced unprecedented levels of abuse and worried every working day about catching the virus and taking it home to their families.
 
“However this is not just a campaign for the pandemic, our members have for many years demanded a proper break after the extremely busy and stressful shopping period in the run-up to Christmas. 98% say that large stores should be closed and only 4% are happy to work on New Year’s Day or 2 January. Hogmanay and New Year is a special holiday, but this is not reflected in the experience of many retail workers, with three-quarters saying they spend too little time with friends and family.
 
“We will be encouraging our members to engage with the consultation, to ensure the voices of shopworkers are heard. If we can secure a positive outcome, Usdaw will be calling for the necessary legislative processes to be completed in time for 1 January 2022.”
 
Notes for editors:
 
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fifth biggest trade union with over 400,000 members. Membership has increased by more than one-third over the last couple of decades. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.
 
Christmas Day and New Year's Day Trading (Scotland) Act 2007: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2007/13/contents
 
PE01780: Consultation on the closure of large shops on New Year's Day: https://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/newyearsday
 
Usdaw survey of over 1,000 Scottish retail staff, found that:
  • 98% say that stores should be shut on New Year’s Day
  • Three-quarters feel they spend too little time with friends and family over New Year.
  • Only 4% are happy to work on New Year’s Day or 2 January.
The full survey results can be viewed at: www.usdaw.org.uk/NYDSurvey
 
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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