Usdaw warns devolving issue is deregulation by the back door

Tim Lezard Europe, UK, Retail, Services (UNI),

Usdaw logoUsdaw members are today meeting MPs to explain how extended opening in large stores will lead to even more retail staff being pressured into working longer hours on Sundays.

More than 90% of shopworkers oppose any extension to Sunday trading hours.

Usdaw general secretary John Hannett said: “Devolving Sunday trading is deregulation by the back door and will create chaos in the retail sector, as every area adopts their own regime. It doesn’t provide local authorities with proper powers to influence their retail economy, just a huge headache as a few retailers badger them to allow longer opening.

“For this reason we believe that many retailers and local authorities have responded negatively to the consultation, or at least said that these proposals are not what they are looking for from government. We fear that devolution is a solution looking for a problem.

“It is not yet clear if the government will proceed to legislation, but if they do I hope that they will abide by their promise of a full consultation and parliamentary process. That would mean full disclosure of consultation responses and a considered response from the government, demonstrating that they have listened, before the introduction of any legislation to change Sunday trading.

“The Sunday Trading Act is a great British compromise, which has worked well for over 20 years and gives everyone a little bit of what they want. Retailers can trade, customers can shop, staff can work; whilst Sunday remains a special day, different to other days, and shopworkers can spend some time with their family.”

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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