Shop workers oppose longer Sunday hours, study suggests

Retail workers overwhelmingly oppose longer opening hours for large stores on Sundays, new research suggests.

More than nine out of 10 of 11,000 shop workers in England and Wales surveyed by Usdaw said they did not agree with more than six hours opening.

Two thirds said they felt pressured to work on Sundays while half wanted fewer hours, with only 3% wanting more.

Paddy Lillis, Usdaw’s general secretary, said: “Reports that the Government is yet again looking at deregulating Sunday trading were met with dismay and disbelief by our members who are on the frontline of delivering essential services during the coronavirus emergency.

“The Government claims it will help the country out of recession, but that is wrong, misguided and a slap in the face for key workers.

“Shops can already open for 150 hours a week, adding a few more hours will not make a difference, but could be very damaging to shop workers’ lives, our communities and the retail sector.

“This move to deregulate Sunday trading hours appears an opportunistic use of the coronavirus crisis. I would hope that the Government would instead spend its time exploring how we can ensure that these low-paid key workers can get the level of pay and job security they deserve.

“We appreciate a desire to help the retail sector, but this attempt to undo a long-held and workable compromise on Sunday trading is misguided.

“Usdaw members do not want to see longer Sunday trading hours, especially when shop workers are under huge pressure because of the crisis.

“Shop workers need a break on Sundays, not longer opening hours. We urge the Government to reject extending trading hours and to focus on supporting the retail sector.”

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