Social Market Foundation Examine Family Impact of Sunday Trading Changes

A new report from the Social Market Foundation has suggested that plans to change Sunday Trading hours could have a negative impact on family life.

The think-tank, Social Market Foundation, has examined plans to devolve Sunday trading powers to local authorities using the Prime Minister’s ‘family test’, which he launched in 2014 for all new laws going through Parliament. In applying the government’s own guidance for the test, the research found that the plans raise significant risks to family life and the countervailing benefits are likely to be small. According to the SMF, the government itself has so far disregarded the ‘family test’ in proposing the changes.

The Keep Sunday Special Campaign’s focus is to maintain the current Sunday trading laws which limits the number of hours large shops can open on a Sunday. In the Summer Budget earlier this year, the chancellor announced plans to deregulate the power to decide what times stores of all sizes can open on a Sunday to local authorities. Keep Sunday Special is supported by a range of small business organisations (including ACS), faith groups and shop workers.

Emran Mian, Director of the Social Market Foundation, said: “The risks to family life posed by the Government’s proposed changes to Sunday trading regulations are significant. Retail is already a sector where staff are working long and atypical hours, and working for longer on Sundays will hurt families by stopping them from spending time together.”

“While the family test was introduced with a lot of fanfare, it looks like the Government will fail to implement the test on the first big issue where it is relevant.”

Populus polling from September 2015 shows that 67% of the public are in favour of the current Sunday trading regulations.

This entry was posted by Victoria on Mon, 12/10/2015 - 09:53