An overwhelming majority of Scottish shopworkers support a new Bill that aims to ban large stores from opening on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, according to retail union Usdaw.
The Christmas Day and New Year’s Day (Scotland) Bill, being scrutinised by the Scottish Parliament’s Justice 2 Committee, would prohibit stores exceeding 280 square metres from opening on those two holidays.
The union has run a campaign to back the Bill after a consultation of members revealed that the vast majority were opposed to stores opening on those special holidays.
The campaign was launched after the Scottish arm of employers’ group CBI said there is demand from staff to work on New Year’s Day for financial reasons.
“Our members in Scotland already work extremely long hours over the holiday period,” said Usdaw general secretary John Hannett.
“They have made it crystal clear to us that Christmas Day and New Year’s Day are long established family days and they want to spend precious time with their families on those holidays.”
Hannett said the Bill will actually create a level playing field for retailers as many employers don’t want to open on that day, but would feel forced to open if their competitors did.
“This Bill would stop that snowball effect and offer some protection to Scottish shopworkers who already work very long hours in Scotland which already has the most deregulated shopping environment in the world,” he said.