London 2012: Royal assent for bill relaxing Sunday trading laws during Olympics and Paralympics

15:13 01 May 2012

Sunday trading laws will be relaxed for the duration of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, despite opposition from a shopworkers’ union.

A bill to suspend Sunday trading laws for eight Sundays from July 22 to the end of the Paralympic Games on September 9 today received Royal Assent, after it was passed by the House of Commons last night.

It means shops with a floor area of more than 280 square metres will be able stay open for longer than six continual hours on a Sunday.

After the Paralympic Games finish trading restrictions will apply again.

The government has assured workers the relaxation is temporary but Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) says a majority of workers are against suspending the trading laws.

Business minister Mark Prisk said: “The Olympic and Paralympic Games are almost upon us and you can sense the excitement building. This will be a fantastic opportunity to showcase, not just London, but the whole of the country to the rest of the world and provide a boost for the economy, sales and employment.

“Retail workers will keep all their legal protections, such as the right to opt-out of Sunday working, but many will want to take the opportunity to work extra or different hours. I want employers to work with their staff so that we can all make the most of the Olympics.

“I want to make it clear that this is a temporary measure and not a test case for a permanent relaxation of the rules in the future.”

Usdaw said it would be monitoring the situation closely.

Responding to the passing of the bill, Usdaw general secretary John Hannett said: “The government again failed to make a coherent and convincing case for the bill and it became clear during last night’s debate that only a handful of large commercial interests who would prefer a permanent deregulation of Sunday trading backed the temporary suspension.

“The vast majority of shopworkers are against longer Sunday opening hours and they will be bitterly disappointed by the vote. Thousands of our members contacted their MP to ask them to vote against this bill and they will feel let down by the many MPs who failed to recognise the importance of shopworkers having time off with their families.”

Latest Stories

Yesterday, 18:25
Moorgate station was evacuated this evening after a 'security alert' causing delays on the Tube network (Photo by Sion Touhig/Getty Images)

There are severe delays on the Tube in central London tonight after a ‘security alert’ shut Moorgate Underground station with passengers evacuated and trains stopped in tunnels.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:39
Ruislip was hit with torrential rain overnight leaving the town centre badly flooded this morning (Picture: Twitter/@souvikdash)

The Monday morning commute is not exactly most people’s idea of a good time but it was made a lot worse for those in west London this morning after flash flooding.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:35
This Vauxhall Corsa flipped over and landed on its roof this morning in Lambeth. Shocked Twitter users captured the scene [Photo courtesy of @k111777]

A car has flipped over dramatically on Brixton Road, Lambeth.

Read more

TOP Stories

Yesterday, 18:25
Moorgate station was evacuated this evening after a 'security alert' causing delays on the Tube network (Photo by Sion Touhig/Getty Images)

There are severe delays on the Tube in central London tonight after a ‘security alert’ shut Moorgate Underground station with passengers evacuated and trains stopped in tunnels.

Yesterday, 11:39
Ruislip was hit with torrential rain overnight leaving the town centre badly flooded this morning (Picture: Twitter/@souvikdash)

The Monday morning commute is not exactly most people’s idea of a good time but it was made a lot worse for those in west London this morning after flash flooding.

Yesterday, 10:35
This Vauxhall Corsa flipped over and landed on its roof this morning in Lambeth. Shocked Twitter users captured the scene [Photo courtesy of @k111777]

A car has flipped over dramatically on Brixton Road, Lambeth.

Promotions

Renault-Zoe

The Renault ZOE follows on from the introduction of the electric Fluence ZE and Twizy, but unlike the former, the Zoe was designed from the ground up as an electric vehicle.

When no simple way to find Real Ale was at hand, 4 Ale enthusiasts got together to allow anyone with a smart phone to find Real Ale no matter where they happened to be, this was the birth of the Perfect Pint app.

London24 have partnered up with The Week magazine to offer you a complimentary issue – delivered free to your door.

London Bloggers

Thursday, July 24, 2014
London comedians are preparing for Edinburgh (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

During these sultry July afternoons and endless balmy evenings the nervous musings of young comedians in London drift to dreams of triumph on the Edinburgh stage.

Thursday, July 24, 2014
Punchdrunk's The Drowned Man poduction came to an end on Sunday, July 6

If you’ve been wandering around bereft of purpose, a wet-eyed stare fixed on your blank face, then no doubt you too are as gutted as I am that The Drowned Man has finally come to an end.

Thursday, July 24, 2014
(Photo by Joern Pollex/Getty Images)

We’ve been called P.I.G.S.

Quizzes

Test your London musical knowledge with our album quiz (Images via Getty)

Does your music knowledge stretch from The Rolling Stones to Rudimental, Spandau Ballet to Siouxsie and the Banshees? If so then test it out with our London bands quiz:

Read more
How much do you really know about QPR legends like Les Ferdinand? Picture: Neal Simpson/EMPICS Sport

Test your knowledge of QPR’s greatest players with our fantastic legends quiz.

Read more
Quiz-1

Do you know your Lock Stock from your Long Good Friday, Sliding Doors from Shakespeare in Love?

Read more