Don't Change Sunday Trading - Keep Sunday For Rest, Family and Worship

While workers and families suffer, big business benefits.


Don't Change Sunday Trading - Keep Sunday For Rest, Family and Worship

4,405 people have signed. Help us reach 5,000 signatures.

Don't Change Sunday Trading - Keep Sunday For Rest, Family and Worship

The UK Government is now engaged in a public consultation process on the issue of changing Sunday Trading hours. The major proposed change has to do with allowing large (mostly chain) stores, which measure over 3000 sq. feet, to open for more than 6 hours on Sundays.

In a rare show of solidarity, the Church of England, along with several trade unions and small business-owners' associations, have all come out against the proposed changes by George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and his Ministry's Departments of Business, Innovation and Skills, and Communities and Local Government. Please see the actual proposal below, as well as the official Response Form.

The current law on Sunday Trading forms a good, common sense compromise between a variety of competing demands in a pluralistic society such as today's UK.

This petition, therefore, sends an email-petition to both Chancellor, George Osborne and his "Sunday Trading Team", asking them to scrap the idea of extending Sunday Trading hours for the following reasons:

First and foremost, our current law allows for a decent work-life/work-family balance to exist. By limiting the number of hours during which large, High St. stores can open, the current regulations allow individuals and families to make priorities of rest, family-time and worship on Sundays.

These are priorities which the Government should be seeking to promote.

People are not simply "economic factors" or consumers, but rather, human beings whose end in life is not simply to work and consume, 24/7.

And, sensible laws, like the ones currently on the books, also allow time for family-and-community-building to take place. More than anything else, getting to know one's family and one's neighbours takes time.

Second, the status quo law protects the interests of small shop owners against the financial superiority of large, chain stores. And, whereas, this is not generally about promoting protectionist policies in the free market, government and society must, at times, set limits which the market would not otherwise obey. Doing so, in this case, is in society's best interest - and is not necessarily measurable in pounds and pence.

It stands to reason, however, that if large shops are allowed to open longer hours, it will necessarily mean that small shops will lose custom. And, deliberately hurting small businesses is a foolish thing to do, especially as small businesses are oftentimes the drivers of local economies.

Third, neither large-shop staff, nor consumers, want this change. A recent survey of shop-workers showed that 93% do not wish to see Sunday hours extended. And, a different, recent survery of the general public showed that 76% of people are satisfied with the current trading regulations.

Both of these surveys show that the push to change Sunday Trading hours is not a bottom-up decision, but top-down. And, it is very likely that most of the people making these decisions will not be working the shop-floor on Sundays, but rather, will be at home with their kids.

For all of these reasons, let's keep the current trading hours we have! Let's show the world that our top priorities are our people!

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No Change to Sunday Trading - Keep Sunday Free

Dear Sunday Trading Team,

Dear Mr Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer:

Though I will be submitting my own personal response to your Ministry's/Department's consultation of the general public on the issue of changing Sunday Trading hours, I wanted to send you a quick email petition to make the following three points:

1) We live in a world of non-stop work as it is. Technology practically demands that everyone constantly be "on-call". Therefore, both individuals and families need the time to recuperate and "re-group" after a busy week. Individuals need to rest and relax, and families need to rest, relax, and be able to spend time together, without feeling harassed to "get the latest bargain". 

And, even in our pluralistic society, many individuals and families still attend worship services on Sunday and designate it as the Lord's Day. Sunday is a unique and special day of the week, where many individuals and families give priority to God.

Therefore, Government ought to take the lead by maintaining Sunday as a day which is different to the rest of the week, and which gives priority to rest, family and worship over other activities. It shows that people are not just "economic factors or consumers", but rather, human beings whose end in life is not simply to work, 24/7.

2) Small shops (less than 3000 sq feet) currently have unrestricted Sunday Trading hours, whereas large stores (greater than 3000 sq feet) already open for 6 consecutive hours on Sunday.

For those who wish to do their shopping on a Sunday, therefore, this seems like a common-sense compromise, where everybody's needs are already catered for.

Extending opening times for large stores will only, logically, put smaller stores under more financial pressure, as it would remove one of the few advantages left to the smaller stores.

And, as small businesses are the engine of any local economy, it doesn't make sense to make their lives any harder.

3) The UK already opts-out of the EU's Working Time Directive, which restricts the maximum number of hours worked per week, to 48. Adding more possible working hours to the week, therefore, will likely drive those who are already working many hours, to work even more. But, it will not be the worker - and his or her health - nor their families, who will benefit; it will be Big Business which benefits.

In this instance, we must allow government to protect the worker from being taken advantage of.

For all of the above reasons, I would kindly ask you to leave the Sunday Trading hours alone. Please leave Sundays free, for rest, family and worship.




[Your Name]

Don't Change Sunday Trading - Keep Sunday For Rest, Family and Worship

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4,405 people have signed. Help us reach 5,000 signatures.