HR & Employment Law Insights

Helping family businesses, start-ups, charities, social enterprises, and other growing or established businesses throughout the UK make sense of HR and Employment Law challenges.

In this week's Question of the Week Alistair answers "Can shop workers opt out of Sunday working?"

Question

An employee who works in our shop has asked to opt out of Sunday working, what should I do?

Answer

All shop and betting shop workers can opt out of Sunday working unless Sunday is the only day they have been employed to work on.

An employee can opt out of Sunday working at any time, even if they have agreed to work on Sundays in their contract.

The employee must give you 3 months’ notice that they want to opt out of Sunday working, in the meantime, they must continue to work on Sundays during the notice period if you require them too.

When stated in the employment contract that employees will work Sundays, you must tell them in writing that they can opt out of this if they chose to do so. You must do this within 2 months of the employee starting work with you. If you don’t, only 1 month’s notice is needed to opt out instead of the 3 months' notice.

Automatically shop workers don’t have to work on Sundays if they have been employed by the company since before 26 August 1994 or betting shop workers who started before 2 January 1995.

An employee can’t be dismissed or treated in an unfairly for choosing not to work on Sundays. If you need to discuss further, please let me know.