Sunday Trading during Olympics Receives Royal Assent

The Bill to suspend Sunday Trading Laws during the Olympic and Paralympic Games has received Royal Assent and will mean that shops with a relevant floor area of more than 280 square metres will not be subject to current Sunday trading restrictions during the Games.

The suspension will operate only for eight Sundays from 22 July to the end of the Paralympic Games on 9 September. The Act also reduces temporarily the usual period of notice that needs to be given to retail workers for them to opt out of Sunday working from three months to two months following concerns that shop workers would not have sufficient time to opt out of Sunday working should they wish to do so.

Business Minister Mark Prisk said:

“The Olympic and Paralympic Games are almost upon us and you can sense the excitement building. This will be a fantastic opportunity to showcase, not just London, but the whole of the country to the rest of the world and provide a boost for the economy, sales and employment.

“Retail workers will keep all their legal protections, such as the right to opt-out of Sunday working, but many will want to take the opportunity to work extra or different hours. I want employers to work with their staff so that we can all make the most of the Olympics.

“I want to make it clear that this is a temporary measure and not a test case for a permanent relaxation of the rules in the future.”

General guidance for employees on Sunday working can be found on the Direct Gov web site at and 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 can be found on the BIS web site at


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