The Department of Trade and Industry is inviting views from employees, businesses, consumers and religious groups on the current Sunday trading laws.
As part of a review of Sunday trading, the department has commissioned an independent economic cost-benefit analysis to assess the impact of any changes in the law.
Under the current law, which was introduced in 1994, large shops can open for six hours on Sunday, usually opting for 10am to 4pm. Small shops and corner shops can open whenever they like.
It is likely that the government will not allow full liberalisation, opting instead for similar hours to bank holidays of 9am to 6pm.
Shopworkers' union Usdaw is opposed to longer opening hours, arguing that premium payments for Sunday working have been 'remorselessly eroded' since 1994, and most stores now only pay weekday rates to Sunday staff.
Further details can be found at www.dti.gov.uk/ccp/sunday_trading.htm