The law to suspend Sunday trading laws during the Olympic and Paralympic Games received Royal Assent on 1 May
The Sunday Trading (London Olympics Games and Paralympics Games) Act 2012 was announced in the Budget and will allow shops with a relevant floor area of more than 280 square metres to disregard current Sunday trading restrictions during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Eight Sundays only
The suspension will only be for eight Sundays, from 22 July until 9 September. After this period the current Sunday trading restrictions will apply again.
Responding to criticism from trade unions the Government has confirmed that this is a temporary measure and is not intended to be a test case for a permanent relaxation of the rules in the future.
Does not apply in Scotland and Northern Ireland
The suspension will apply in England and Wales only. Scotland does not have Sunday trading legislation and it is not proposed to alter Northern Ireland's own Sunday trading legislation.
Employee protection remains in place
Retail workers will retain all their legal protections, including the right to opt-out of Sunday working but, given that the start of the Olympics is imminent, the Government has included a temporary reduction to the usual period of notice that employees must give their employers if they wish to opt out of Sunday working, from three months to as little as two months.
BIS has issued guidance on the effect of the Sunday Trading (London Olympics Games and Paralympics Games) Act 2012 on the existing right of shop workers to opt out of Sunday working.