In the UK there are strict Sunday trading laws. Many Shops and Supermarkets are only allowed to open for restricted hours on a Sunday. Six hours between 10am and 4pm for example. The times may vary but six hours is the maximum opening time.
These Sunday trading laws were relaxed in 2012 for the Olympics. It was claimed this would be beneficial for the economy and with an expected influx of visitors sounded a sensible option.
The UK government stressed that the change was only temporary for the duration of the Olympics. It seems that once again they may have been lying.
A row has broken out as rumours have started that these relaxed trading hours are set to stay. This would mean that supermarkets who offer 24 hour shopping throughout the week could now open 24/7.
Pandering to consumers may seem like a good idea but is it necessary?
Surely we are capable of organising our lives to include the closure of shops for a few hours a week? We all only have limited money to spend and will spend it without 24/7 shopping. Opening longer hours will not give people more money to spend, when all is said and done.
In the fifties and early sixties Sunday trading laws were very strict. Officially they stayed that way until 1994. It was prudent for these restrictive laws to be relaxed but surely enough is enough. What many people tend to forget is the shop workers who will be affected by the changes.
Most 9-5 workers receive extra pay or incentive payments should they work weekends and evenings. Not shop workers. Those who work for large UK supermarkets do receive a higher rate of pay for night shifts but not for weekend working.
If you are a consumer who thinks yippee to 24/7 shopping spare a thought for the workers. Most earn the minimum wage for which they are expected to work all hours. With online shopping available those hooked on spending can always get their fix. Those who want to pop out to the shops for that forgotten item just need to organise their shopping habits better.
Whilst nothing has been announced yet re Sunday Trading Laws being relaxed watch this space, as they say. Sunday trading extended hours is due to end on September 9. If it does not it will be yet another UK government breach of trust. The government is hedging its bets and has stated it will assess how successful the temporary change was before it makes a decision.
This of course means that it has already broken its promise. What a surprise!
Based in Yorkshire, in the middle of the UK, almost, this blogger offers her own unique perspective on life in GB
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