Sunday working

The following Employment practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Sunday working
  • To whom the Sunday working rights apply: shop and betting workers
  • Shop workers
  • Betting workers
  • How the law affects different categories of shop and betting workers
  • Shop or betting workers whose job commenced before the legislation (before 1994/1995)
  • Effect of the legislation on this category
  • Shop or betting workers whose contract does not and may not require Sunday work
  • Effect of the legislation on this category
  • Newly recruited shop or betting workers whose contract requires or may require Sunday working
  • More...

Sunday working

FORTHCOMING CHANGE: Certain aspects of the protections afforded under the ERA 1996 to shop and betting workers are to be strengthened by amendments to be made to that legislation by provisions of the Enterprise Act 2016. These provisions have not yet been brought into force. The nature of these prospective changes is discussed below, see Forthcoming amendments to strengthen Sunday working legislation for shop and betting workers

Special rights relating to Sunday working are not found in the core working time legislation (the Working Time Regulations 1998, SI 1998/1833) and, unlike that legislation, do not derive from European Law. These rights are purely domestic.

Although the historic reason that special Sunday working rights exist in UK law was to support or allow observance of the Christian concept of Sunday as a day of rest, these rights are in fact in no way dependent upon the religion of any employee covered by them; rather, where the rights apply, they do so irrespective of to what religion an employee may adhere—indeed whether or not that employee professes religious belief of any sort whatsoever.

The principal (and major) restriction on these express Sunday working rights, however, is that (unlike the core working time legislation) they do not cover workers universally; rather they are only of any application to:

  1. those employees who work in shops,

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