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UK Sunday Trading Legislation... keep it or scrap it?

Keep or scrap UK Sunday Trading Legislation

  • Do nothing.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Modify it, and increase trading restrictions.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Do something else.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    15
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Dude84

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Another of my usual random subjects, now 'appearing' as a thread following a discussion with someone else of this site, on the subject.

Basically, in the United Kingdom before Thatcher, most trading on a Sunday was prohibited in law.

During her premiership this was changed, although due to (I believe) heavy resistance from dominant Anglian church groups, it was not completely removed, the original proposals to scrap all trading restrictions watered down to a situation where businesses over a certain size (with some exemptions, such as railway stations, airports, theatres, cinemas, etc) are only permitted to trade for a total of six hours on a Sunday, which must fall between 1000 and 1800.

My personal opinion, is that such legislation is outdated and unecessary. I do not believe that the feelings of a particular religion or domination should be allowed to dominate law affecting the whole country - especially, as so few people in the United Kingdom attend any place of worship more than once a year, statistically.

Indeed, if we were to enact restrictions on trading to please every religion and denomination, then I imagine there would be no trading, as some entity, somewhere, would regard at least one day as sacred, and thus deemed "wrong" to trade on.

The continuation of this legislation is also detrimental to the increasing number of people who work five, five and a half, or six day weeks. Why should one be forced to shop during particular hours on the only day when it is possible?
 
S

soren456

Guest
I voted for the first option, although I'm a US citizen.

The US once widely had Blue Laws, which required Sunday closings--especially of sinful places like movie theatres, taverns and bars.

These were definitely religiously inspired, dated back to the Pilgrims, and still exist in some places. By now, they have been all but removed, and we can drink, dance and see movies on Sunday.

(And I'm sure that fewer of us are getting into Heaven as a result.)
 

Darkfinn

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Ooh... sinful places. Y'all better watch out or the Almighty will bring his wrath down upon ye for watching a movie or going out for a drink on Sunday.

Seriously... get over it people. This ain't the Vatican, it is the modern world where business moves at the speed of light 24/7/365. Any laws restricting certain activities on particular days of the week because of some absurd "moral" or "religious" reason are rediculous and totally impractical in today's society.
 
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Australia is pretty varied when it comes to Sunday Trading, with each state having different laws. In my particular region stores are allowed to open on Sunday, but have restricted hours (usually about a 9 hour maximum of being open), whilst more "nightly" stores, like service stations, are open for longer hours. I've never really had a problem with these hours before as I can venture around the city or shopping centres on Sunday as if it were any other day of the week.

Have to admit though, it's pretty ridiculous how stores are forced to close because of some outdated tradition. But conversely, I do think there should be some regulation as to when they can open. Places like your big department stores and supermarkets have the ability to stay open 24/7 because of the great financial backing they have; they can afford to keep staff on throughout the day and night. It would be very unfair to smaller businesses who are trying to compete and can't afford to staff their store(s) for those extended trading hours. It'd marginalise small business owners against larger corporations more so than what it already is, and the last thing we need is uncompetitiveness in business because that would just drive prices on goods and services higher.
 

Peachy

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Our trading legislation was and is a lot stricter still. Up until 15 years ago or so (don't remember exactly when), stores had to close at 18:30 on weekdays, 14:00 on Sundays and remain closed Sundays. The first step was to allow stores to remain open until 21:00 on Thursdays and 18:00 I believe on Saturdays. The step after that, roughly 10 years ago, was to allow stores to remain open until 20:00 on weekdays and 18:00 on Saturdays.
Recently, like 2 years ago, the trading legislation was found to actually be in the hands of the individual states, and most states have done away with any restrictions Mondays through Saturdays.
Sunday trading remains illegal (except for those exceptions already mentioned - airports, railways stations and tourist towns), although local authorities can grant local business the right to open for 5 hours on a Sunday on up to like 7 Sundays a year, during times of special events (e.g. in my city, the Sunday after the big fair parade in late October is one of the Sundays when trading is allowed).
Sunday trading restrictions aren't in place because of the church though here - they lack that kind of influence to begin with. The unions wanted and still want to give store employees a day to spend with their families, and tha is the Sunday, where kids are off school and the spouse is (presumably) off work too.

Personally, I think that kind of legislation is outdated, although I can see the purpose of it. I wouldn't mind shopping on Sundays, but I don't require that right, so I have no problem if Sunday restrictions remain in place. It's not like people have more money to spend when the stores are open 7 instead of 6 days a week...it would only drive up costs of keeping the store open yet another day, and thus make stuff more expensive.

By the way: There are no trading restrictions on alcohol or cigarrettes except for the usual age restrictions (16/18 and 18, respectively). I found it funny though how, in the American state of Georgia, you couldn't buy alcohol on Sundays or after 2am on any other day, but most certainly you could just get a bottle of booze from your own fridge! Just a question of logistics!

Peachy
 

mizzycub

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I personally don't have a problem with shops and businesses being open on a Sunday. If you get rid of it the only people who will suffer are those who still refuse to open on Sunday for whatever reason (religious, not got the staff etc.). I imagine that, to begin with at any rate, not many people would be opening on sundays because they aren't used to it.

Regulation of opening times could be useful in general. If someone were to be open 24/7 while there health couldn't afford it then a regulation forcing them not to work on a day could be good. I would say that regulation of opening times could be useful, but equally I wouldn't mind it if it were scrapped or left as it was.


I think that modification of the rules to get rid of the religious basis, yet still keeping regulation so that people who couldn't work 24/7 don't end up in a position where they would have to to stay in business, would be the best option. I am not particularly worried about it though.
 

Darkfinn

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So... what do you people do if you can't go out shopping on Sundays? We do most of our shopping on sunday simply b/c saturday is spent working around the house or in the yard.
 
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So... what do you people do if you can't go out shopping on Sundays? We do most of our shopping on sunday simply b/c saturday is spent working around the house or in the yard.
Perhaps they go shopping on Saturday and do house work on Sunday. :detective3
 

leffykit

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Well, as a retail worker I'd have to say I'd be all for restricting sundays again. or modifying the pay rates by law for either that day, or late hours. It's rediculous how little people like myself are paid to work up until 8pm-9pm or on "peak trading" occasions up until 11pm.
Less than £6ph to work unsociable hours 6 days is bad enough
but working until 9am-6 or 8pm is not my idea of fun on bank holidys when all smaller buisnesses are closed and government buildings cease operations at 2pm

Its my opinion that in these cases larger organisations are taking liberties for the sake of greed on behalf of shareholders who suck enough profit/hours out of the workforce already
 

Dude84

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Rates of pay are a completely separate matter, although still the result of central government policy (it, afterall, sets the minimum wage etc). On the subject, I do think that the NMW is far too low; it doesn't allow for a decent standard of living and treats anyone in the lower age ranges extremely unfairly - afterall, why should two people doing the exact same job be paid different amounts because one is a year older?

However, back on topic, I don't see why there should be an entitlement to additional pay for working at the weekend; maybe people shouldn't be forced to work then, but I hardly see why additional pay is justified.

As for businesses being forced to open on Sunday, well, I don't buy that argument; nobody is ever forced to open, really! If you don't want to make any money, don't unlock the door. It's that simple.

In some industries it may not be profitable to extend Sunday operations, but I suspect that in many it would be. Those which are sceptical of doing so will probably ultimately do a complete 'U' turn; for example, on the first day that Sunday trading was legalised in the UK, Marks & Spencers opened only six of its stores on an "experimental" basis.

Judging that all of them now open on Sunday, one can assume it was sucessful!
 
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Well, as a retail worker I'd have to say I'd be all for restricting sundays again. or modifying the pay rates by law for either that day, or late hours. It's rediculous how little people like myself are paid to work up until 8pm-9pm or on "peak trading" occasions up until 11pm.
Less than £6ph to work unsociable hours 6 days is bad enough
That's what we do here on Sunday. Almost all places will pay you 1.5 times your normal base rate, minimum. So that affects any special bonuses you get (like +20-30% for being a casual employee, overtime, etc...).

If anything, down here you'd *want* to work on Sunday. I used to pull 12+ hour shifts on Sunday at my old job (the most I ever did was 14.5 hours on a Sunday). Had some huge paydays from it.
 

leffykit

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Well, with nothing like that here, and whiney little kids in tow of most parents there's no desire or incentive for people to work it. only the prospect of losing your job if you dont.
 
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