Keep Sunday Special

Keep Sunday Special

Keep Sunday Special is a British campaign group set up in 1985 to oppose plans to introduce Sunday trading in the United Kingdom, although Scotland has no Sunday specific restrictions. It was continued on from the Lord's Day Observance Society. The earlier name stated that the idea was to protect the Christian religion whereas later, religion was not mentioned and emphasis was put on protecting the family and workers.

In the UK (excluding Scotland), only small shops were allowed to open on Sunday, with large stores forced to remain shut. There were many rules at the time, like the ones which allowed you to buy pornographic magazines on a Sunday but not a birthday card. The UK had largely lost strict observance to Christian religion and with the influx of immigrants who had no holy days or holy days other than Sunday (like Muslims with a Friday holy day), a group of vocal Christians set up letter writing campaigns.

Assurances were given by trade unions and employers that no worker would be forced to work on Sundays and surveys showed that even among Christians, many did shop on a Sunday where possible so for a limited period of time, it was decided that it would be allowed. Under the Sunday Trading Act 1994, large shops are allowed to open for up to six hours on a Sunday between 10am and 6pm. The UK Department of Trade and Industry conducted a review of the Act in early 2006 to consider whether to extend opening hours to 9 hours or to remove restrictions entirely.

Keep Sunday Special believes that this move would have a damaging effect on families, communities and local economies. In this respect they stand alongside organisations like the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers who have recently launched a Save our Sundays campaign, Relationships Foundation, Working Families and over 200 MPs who have signed an Early Day Motion.ref|1 On 6 July 2006, the Secretary of State, Alistair Darling, confirmed that having considered all the evidence from the review, the government concluded there should be no change to the Sunday trading laws.

The news has been welcomed by trade unions and small shops who were afraid of large stores who would undercut their prices and were opposed any change in the law. However surveys of behaviour under the new laws found that whole families were treating Sundays as their day out together and instead of breaking up families, it was bringing them closer together.Fact|date=June 2007 As to shop workers, they found this a chance to earn some extra money working overtime (or in other cases, having a day off in the week when they could do other things) to the point where far from being too few employees wanting to work on Sundays, there was too many.Fact|date=June 2007

Under the Sunday Trading Act 1994, large shops with a floor area of more than 280 m² may only open for six continuous hours.Fact|date=July 2008

Those campaigning for deregulation argued it would generate an extra £1.4bn for the UK economy on top of the money already egenerated in what was clearly a success, with supermarket and shopping centre car parks being full to bursting in some areas on a Sunday in what is now the busiest trading day for many outlets.Fact|date=June 2007 However, the Keep Sunday Special campaign believes that Sunday should remain a day of rest, protected under law.


[ Early Day Motion 1085]

External links

* [ Keep Sunday Special]
* [ UK Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform - Report on Sunday Shopping]

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