B861 - Sunday Trading Laws Revision Bill 2015 (Second Reading) Watch

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Birchington
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B861 - Sunday Trading Laws Revision Bill 2015 (Second Reading), TSR Liberal Party

SUNDAY TRADING LAWS REVISION BILL 2015
(Second Reading)
A Bill to repeal the Sunday Trading Laws and remove all trading hour restrictions on religious holidays whilst also outlining increased rights for workers.

BE IT ENACTED by The Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Commons in this present Parliament assembled, in accordance with the provisions of the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1 Repeal of restrictions on Sunday trading hours
(1) Paragraph 2(1) of Schedule 1 to the Sunday Trading Act 1994 (which restricts Sunday opening at large shops) is hereby repealed.
(2) Schedule 3 to that Act (which restricts loading and unloading at large shops on Sunday mornings) shall still apply to large shops.
(3) Shops of any size have no restriction on their trading hours so long as all provisions of this Act are met.

2 Repeal of restrictions on holiday season trading hours
(1) Section 1 of the Christmas Day (Trading) Act 2004 (which restricts Christmas Day opening at large shops) is hereby repealed.
(2) Shops of any size may elect to open on Easter Sunday.

3 Worker protections
(1) An employee at any private organisation (even non-shops) with a contract that does not explicitly grant Christmas Day and Easter Sunday as holiday are entitled to opt out of working on either day without negative consequence.
(a) An employee utilising this opt-out must inform their employer of their intention to opt-out 7 days before that day occurs, and
(i) should this employee later decide they no longer wish to opt-out, their employer is under no obligation to provide them with work on these days for the duration of their contract.
(2) An employee at a shop may opt-out of working more than 6 hours on a Sunday.
(a) An employee utilising this opt-out must inform their employer of their intention to opt-out in writing,
(i) the employer must provide the employee with their amended working hours within 28 days of receipt, and
(ii) should this employee later decide they no longer wish to opt-out, their employer is under no obligation to provide them with more than 6 hours on an Sundays for the duration of their contract.

4 Short title and extent
(1) This Act may be cited as the Sunday Trading Act (Repeal) Act 2015.
(2) This Act comes into force immediately following Royal Ascent with the exception that
(a) Section 2 of this Act shall come into force on January 1, 2016.
(3) This Act extends to England and Wales only.



NOTES
Summary
This bill lets shops open on Sundays and on religious holidays should they wish to take this option. No shops are forced to do so, and employees at shops who open for longer as a result of this Act are allowed to resist working at these extra times without any negative consequence from their employer. A very similar system is already enforced in Scotland.

In a nutshell this Act is being presented because we don't believe that arbitrary, religiously motivated restrictions on businesses and consumers have any place in a modern Britain. Businesses should be allowed to open for longer in an ever more competitive world with the vast growth in ecommerce if they wish to do so, and shouldn't be told they can't just because the Church decided that Sunday was rest day thousands of years ago. We also strongly believe in consumer empowerment, and people should be free to shop on Sundays if they want to do so. All non-shop businesses are already allowed to open as long as they want, it's about time we make that consistent whilst also protecting workers.

More detail
Section 1
This section borrows fairly heavily from the real life Sunday Trading (London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games) Act 2012. Our first section uses the exact same wording and allows shops (of any size) to open for as long as they want.

Large shops (ie: the ones already affected by Sunday Trading) are still restricted from loading and unloading at unsociable Sunday morning hours.

Section 2
This part of the Act repeals the real-life Christmas Day (Trading) Act 2004 to allow a shop to trade on Christmas Day. It then goes on to clarify that Easter Sundays are also free from restriction. Shops are not forced to open on these days. Indeed there is probably very little market for people to shop on Christmas Day especially, but the option to conduct business on these days should at least be available.

Section 3
Perhaps the most important part of this Act, it sets out the new worker protections for Sundays and religious holidays.

No shop worker is entitled to work for any longer than they already work under this Act. However if they do opt-out of working extra hours, their employer is under no obligation to allow them to opt back in. This protects any extra 'sunday workers' employed as a consequence of opt-outs from being treated unfairly like a spare part.

For the first time ever, workers from any business (even non-shops!) may opt out of working on Christmas Day or Easter Sunday so long as appropriate notice is provided. This is really the only part of the Act that applies to every worker, rather than just shop workers.



Speaker's Note: Please note the change in name from the first reading.
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United1892
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Nay.
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Saoirse:3
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Nay. Why should Christian celebrations be prioritised above all others?
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PetrosAC
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Aye

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Jarred
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Aye. We've strengthened some of the more adminy bits of the bill by basically lifting the 'repeal' part straight from the real life Act used for the temporary relaxation during the Olympics. And then we've brought Christmas and Easter off the pedestal as well so that the overall result is that retail businesses are roughly consistent in their trading restrictions with all other businesses. But most importantly we've also gone further by introducing some simple but really necessary protections for workers affected by this, and even those not affected as in 3(1). I like to think we've gone about making Sundays less **** in the most socially responsible way possible.
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Saracen's Fez
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Aye.

My one question is over Christmas Day, which I don't think should be a shopping day. That's me speaking from a Christian-tradition (ish) background though, so in the interests of secularism it's probably best that that clause stays in.
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United1892
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(Original post by Saoirse:3)
Nay. Why should Christian celebrations be prioritised above all others?
Think you mean aye
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Wellzi
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Nay. I'm not religious myself, but at the end of the day I appreciate that this is and has been for over a millennium a Christian nation, and as such I would feel very wrong about intruding on the ability for them to attend Sunday mass because they have a sh*tty job and can't get a better contract.
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Jammy Duel
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Nay

And waht exactly is the point of 1.2?
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Jarred
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(Original post by Wellzi)
Nay. I'm not religious myself, but at the end of the day I appreciate that this is and has been for over a millennium a Christian nation, and as such I would feel very wrong about intruding on the ability for them to attend Sunday mass because they have a ****ty job and can't get a better contract.
That's largely what 3(2) is for. The current law states that a shop worker may opt out of Sunday working completely, regardless of contract, and that's unchanged. But now, an employee can opt-in to at least work on Sundays but opt out of working for longer than 6 hours on that Sunday (i.e: for working any longer than they do currently) - all irrespective of contract again. Basically under this bill, a shop can open for longer but no employee can be forced into working any longer than they have to under the current laws, no matter what contract they've been conned into signing by a nasty employer.
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Wellzi
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(Original post by Jarred)
That's largely what 3(2) is for. The current law states that a shop worker may opt out of Sunday working completely, regardless of contract, and that's unchanged. But now, an employee can opt-in to at least work on Sundays but opt out of working for longer than 6 hours on that Sunday (i.e: for working any longer than they do currently) - all irrespective of contract again. Basically under this bill, a shop can open for longer but no employee can be forced into working any longer than they have to under the current laws, no matter what contract they've been conned into signing by a nasty employer.
Now that this has been brought to my attention, I shall reconsider my decision. Cheers for the correction
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Imperion
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by Jarred)
That's largely what 3(2) is for. The current law states that a shop worker may opt out of Sunday working completely, regardless of contract, and that's unchanged. But now, an employee can opt-in to at least work on Sundays but opt out of working for longer than 6 hours on that Sunday (i.e: for working any longer than they do currently) - all irrespective of contract again. Basically under this bill, a shop can open for longer but no employee can be forced into working any longer than they have to under the current laws, no matter what contract they've been conned into signing by a nasty employer.
You think that just because the stores are only open 6 hours that the people only work for those 6 hours?
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Jarred
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(Original post by Jammy Duel)
You think that just because the stores are only open 6 hours that the people only work for those 6 hours?
Some might, some might not. With most I suppose its 7 going on 8. Under this bill though they can choose to only do 6 hours of the Sunday if they want more flexibility with their work time, or they can choose the traditional option of having the entire Sunday off. And even then they've got the Working Time Directive to protect them from being overworked across the entire week. All in all I've tried to ensure that it's completely up to the shop worker. If you've got a better idea on how to approach this I'd be happy to hear it. (I don't mean that in an arsey way, I'd genuinely be happy to work in some feedback to any further readings!)
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TheDefiniteArticle
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Aye.
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Andy98
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I'm not sure, the current system works doesn't it?

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Aph
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Wait... So this is removing bank holidays? Also there is literally no point in section 1 paragraph 2...
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Actaeon
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(Original post by Aph)
Wait... So this is removing bank holidays? Also there is literally no point in section 1 paragraph 2...
No, it doesn't remove bank holidays, what in the bill is leading you to think that?
It removes the restrictions on shops opening on Sundays, Easter Sunday, and Christmas, and allows employees to opt-in or opt-out to work on these days as they choose.
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barnetlad
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Nay.

Under this Bill, an ambulance paramedic, a policeman and a nurse who are rostered to work on Christmas Day and Easter Sunday can opt out with a short period of notice. Then the employer can pressurise or bully someone to take their place with no real consequence. Those on low wages or insecure jobs are most likely to end up working on those days. Large shops will open, and there will be the costs in policing, the NHS and elsewhere. The one day a year with some quiet from traffic noise and pollution will be lost.

Christmas Day whilst a Christian festival is one actually marked or even celebrated by many people of no religious faith and to an extent, those of other religions who live in this country. The Olympic Games is not an example to use as precedent as it was genuinely a one-off, and in any case, was in the summer.
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Aph
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(Original post by Actaeon)
No, it doesn't remove bank holidays, what in the bill is leading you to think that?
It removes the restrictions on shops opening on Sundays, Easter Sunday, and Christmas, and allows employees to opt-in or opt-out to work on these days as they choose.
They are 2 bank holidays. And are you serious? We all know it wouldn't be 'opt in' but instead if you didn't work you could face the sack.
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