Home > Employment Relations > Sunday Working

Sunday Working

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 19 Jun 2010 | comments*Discuss
 
Sunday Working Shop And Betting Workers

Over the past few years, Sundays have changed from the tranquil relaxation at the end of a hard working week to a day when people choose to do their weekly grocery shop, visit their garden centre or opt to visit a leisure attraction.

To many people, this flexibility has changed their lives for the better but with the relaxation of the laws governing Sunday working arrangements, so we have also seen disgruntlement from unhappy employees.

In general, we now have to accept that working on a Sunday is becoming more commonplace and it's important to get clarification on whether or not you will be expected to work on a Sunday before you begin any new job as any employer has the right to ask you to work on a Sunday if that forms part of your employment contract. Gone also are the days when the occasional Sunday shift allowed you the opportunity to work the same hours for "double time" - i.e. double the rate at which you would usually be paid for doing the same job and same amount of hours. Today, if you sign an Employment Contract which states that you have to work on a Sunday, your employer is not compelled to pay you any additional money above your usual rate of pay, although some may still pay you extra to work on a Sunday.

However, special rules apply to those who work in shops and betting shops.

Shop and betting workers in England and Wales have the right to refuse to work on a Sunday, and are protected against dismissal, selection for Redundancy or any other kind of detrimental treatment, for example, the refusal or training or scope for promotion.

To qualify to opt out of Sunday working you must be:

  • A shop worker who has been with the same employer since 25 August 1994 or earlier
  • A betting worker who has been with the same employer since 2 January 1995 or earlier
  • A Shop or betting worker who cannot be required to work Sundays under the terms of your contract

You can give up this right only by giving a written, signed and dated opt-in notice to their employer and then agreeing what Sunday work you are willing to do.

All other shop and betting workers can opt out of Sunday working if they want, giving 3 months' written notice without reason.

If you are an employer and you have any shop or betting workers who are or may be required to work on Sunday, you must give them a written statement explaining their opt-out right. If you fail to do this within 2 months of their employment start date, they only need to give one month's opt-out notice.

Shop and betting workers should note that even if they have decided to opt-in to work on a Sunday, they have the right to change their minds and opt-out.

The Sunday working rules apply irrespective of age and length of service but they don't apply to those who just work on a Sunday.

Similar rights were extended to shop and betting workers in Scotland on 6 April, 2004. In Scotland, however, automatically protected employees are only those whose contracts cannot require them to work on Sundays. Those whose contracts require, or may require, them to work on Sundays will have to opt-out and serve a 3 month notice period if they are no longer willing to work on Sundays. This is regardless of whether or not they were employed in shop or betting work before or after 6 April 2004.

Further information on Sunday working rules and regulations can be found on the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) website.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • abdi
    Re: Violence at Work
    a colleague had threaten to kill me, once i informed it to the Managing Director he said just drop it, ill have a chat with him. what should i do?
    21 November 2019
  • Morrigan
    Re: Safe Working Temperatures
    I work in a kitchen and in summer we were reaching temperatures of 39-40°c away from the equipment. Now it's winter we are.currently…
    21 November 2019
  • Vera
    Re: Where do I Stand in regards to Workplace Law?
    Good afternoon, I leave on the state of CT . I’m a food worker at school district. This morning I got at…
    20 November 2019
  • Anon
    Re: Bullying at Work
    I suffered violent bullying and was forced out of long term career at HMRC Revenue & Customs aka HMRC. I learned through that process that they…
    20 November 2019
  • Liz
    Re: When Your Employer Changes Your Working Hours
    I've worked night shift at my company for best part of 10 years, I've worked days when they have requested…
    19 November 2019
  • Boaner
    Re: Can my Employer Fire Me?
    I have a coffee tract that says I would to night shift as and when required. It actually works that I am in 2 weeks day shift and two…
    19 November 2019
  • Stuart Gallagher
    Re: Food Safety and the Law
    I only eat haggis and drink IRNBRU i dont really eat KFC so i wouldnt know. IRNBRU and haggis is the best diet to have. Andy Murry is my…
    19 November 2019
  • Patti
    Re: Sickness: Your Rights
    I had knee surgery and have been off for11 weeks. My Dr told me I could go back with restrictions. Can I be fired or demoted because of this?
    18 November 2019
  • Buzzy Bee !
    Re: Employer Has Changed My Shifts: What Are My Rights?
    After 25 years my employer wants every day and afternoon shift worker to work some nights. I do not…
    17 November 2019
  • Jay
    Re: Sickness: Your Rights
    I have been with my company for 2 years me and my partner was expecting our 1st child but 11 days to when our baby was due she sadly passed…
    17 November 2019