Whilst those of us who work in an office maintain the illusion that bank holidays are a day of rest for most of us – it seems the Sunday trading times that would usually apply on those days are no more – although obviously large shops are forced to close on Christmas Day, Easter Sunday and open for no more than 6 consecutive hours on any other Sunday none of these rules apply to week days. Nearly all supermarkets are now open all day (8am until 7pm in most cases) thus meaning that all the people that work in retail who would ordinarily have been given the reprieve of a shorter day don’t. Smaller corner shops who have historically always been allowed to stay open all day to ensure they get their customer traffic and are not negatively affected by the supermarkets….but does this apply to bank holidays too? The longer supermarkets and large shops are open on these other precious days increases the likelihood of small businesses being affected and many people who work hard for large shops are not compensated for it being a bank holiday if it is a day they are rota’d to be worked. Whilst companies are not legally obligated to pay their staff more for anti-social hours that is what used to happen historically. In non-retail work staff are often compensated for extra hours/overnight shifts due to the nature of the work. The closest most retail employees get to a pay rise is overtime – and certain supermarkets such as Aldi and Lidl – do not allow overtime (they do however pay slightly above the others so arguably this is a better offer, much like the national living wage protecting restaurant workers from having to rely on their tips as they do in the USA.
I would love to hear from small businesses regarding whether they have been affected?
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