Call to guard employees’ Sunday time with families

Belfast City centre
Belfast City centre

A trade union and retailers’ organisation have called on Belfast City Council to protect workers’ time with their families by refusing to extend Sunday trading hours.

Both organisations wrote to councillors following the council’s second consultation on a proposal to designate Belfast as a ‘Holiday Resort’. This would allow large shops to extend Sunday trading hours on up to 18 Sundays in any calendar year between 1 March and 30 September, excluding Easter Sunday.

Usdaw General Secretary John Hannett, and Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts, said: “Retail workers are already under immense pressure to work long hours with the one respite they have being the legally enforced shorter trading hours on a Sunday which allows them much needed time with their family and friends.”

The proposal would also damage smaller independent retailers who can currently trade without competition from larger retailers on Sunday mornings, they said.