Sunday Trading Act 1994

The Sunday Trading Act 1994 is a UK law governing a shop's right to trade on a Sunday.

Buying and selling on Sunday had been banned in the UK by the Shops Act 1950, but after the accession of the UK to the European Economic Community, the ban may have been in breach of Article 30 of the Treaty of Rome as amounting to an unlawful restraint on the free movement of goods.

Following the defeat of a bill to enable widespread Sunday trading in April 1986, compromise legislation was introduced in July 1994 in England and Wales, coming into force on 28 August 1994, allowing shops to open, but restricting opening times of larger stores i.e. those over 280 m2 (3,014 ft2) to a maximum of six hours. Large retail park shops usually open 11am-5pm with supermarkets more usually choosing 10am-4pm

Shops in Scotland, where Sunday trading was already fully deregulated, retained the right to open at any time. However the right for workers in Scotland to refuse to work on a Sunday was later conferred by the Sunday Working (Scotland) Act 2003.

The Sunday Trading Bill had met with considerable opposition from the Lord's Day Observance Society and other groups such as the Christian Keep Sunday Special and the shopworkers' trade union USDAW. However USDAW finally agreed to support 6 hour Sunday trading in return for a promise that Sunday working would be strictly voluntary and premium pay would be offered. This decision played an important role in encouraging many Labour MPs to back the bill in a free vote-without this it would almost certainly have failed.

ee also

*Sunday shopping
*Blue law (US and Canada)
*Sabbatarianism

External links

* [http://www.hmso.gov.uk/acts/acts1994/Ukpga_19940020_en_1.htm The Sunday Trading Act]


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