Under the Sunday Trading Act 1994, shops of more than 280 square metres can open for a maximum of six hours on a Sunday, and only between the hours of 10:00 and 18:00.
However, as of 22 July 2012, the Government have suspended Sunday Trading Laws for the duration of the Olympics and Paralympics. This law received the Royal Assent on 1 May 2012. This change will be in place for eight Sundays until the Paralympics are over on 9 September 2012.
There are many economic benefits that can come from this suspension, because consumers will have the choice to shop for more hours on a Sunday. Keeping shops open longer could help retailers generate more than ten million pounds in increased profits during London 2012. Furthermore, many employees may be happy to have the opportunity to have increased or different hours on a Sunday.
Nevertheless, given the short time before the start of the Olympics, the Government have also temporarily reduced the usual period of notice that employees must give their employers if they wish to not work on a Sunday, from three months to two months.
Business Minister Norman Lamb has indicated earlier this week that this will be a fantastic opportunity to showcase the whole country to the rest of the world and provide a boost for the economy.
The suspension will only apply in England and Wales and will only be a temporary measure.