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 from SNAP.PA

Singer Robbie Williams has revealed the name of his newborn baby son – Charlton Valentine.

Read more

It’s cost Rio Ferdinand a £25k fine and a three-match ban, but what do people think of the word sket?

Read more

The champions now have a second screen experience for those at the game. But would you use it?

Read more

Promotions

BT Home Smart Cam

When I was first told by my boss that I would be doing a review on the BT Smart Cam 100 I didn’t quite know what to expect. Before even looking at the product I was picturing it as nothing more than a web cam with a fancy name.

AGA Living Subscription

Every issue of AGA Living magazine is packed full of celebrity AGA owner interviews, interior and design features, ideas to inspire your culinary imagination, mouth-watering recipes and inspirational shopping ideas.

It’s cost Rio Ferdinand a £25k fine and a three-match ban, but what do people think of the word sket?

The fashion giant’s have been called out for promoting an unhealthy body image with their skeletal dummies.

Apple’s CEO has used an editorial piece in the US to come out as gay.

Party leader Nigel Farage and Ukip are to feature in a spoof Channel 4 documentary.

TOP Stories

08:50
The flood in Malpas Road, Brockley (Pic Benjamin Groucott)

A south-east London road was flooded this morning after a water main burst overnight.

Kamran Khan, Romaine Callender, Aamir Yousef, Sean Cephinis and Tevin Forde have been jailed for numerous guns and drug offences (Picture: Metropolitan Police)

A gang who buried guns, ammunition, heroin and crack cocaine in a park in north west London have been jailed for more than 42 years.

The GLA Conservatives claim drivers waste more than 2,000 hours every night waiting at traffic lights unnecessarily (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

Switching traffic lights off at night in London could save £10million a year and relieve frustrated motorists left stuck waiting at reds when there are no other cars around.

London Bloggers

10:07
The Appilepsy team: Phil Efstathiou, Alex Telek , Clarence Ji, Miklos Molnar, Joran van Apeldoorn

In Tech City, things move fast. And sometimes erratically. Like phones in the pockets of people having epileptic seizures.

Friday, October 24, 2014
The 91-year-old gave the cyclist a wallop

After Baroness Sharples bragged about walloping a cyclist, London24’s cycling blogger AViewOfLondon has this to say...

Wednesday, September 17, 2014
The cast, including Josie Lawrence and Mike Myers

Simon Collins catches up with the improv impresarios, who despite being the world’s longest-running comedy show with the same cast, have lost none of the razor-sharp wit: