Fife shoppers urged to support ban from New Year’s Day trading

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Shopworkers are calling for people to support a petition banning large shops from opening on New Year’s Day.

It was launched by the shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw and wants the Scottish Government to implement legislation already in place.

The Christmas Day and New Year’s Day Trading Act (Scotland) Act 2007 prohibits trading in most large shops on Christmas Day and gave powers to the Scottish Government to stop the opening of those shops on New Year’s Day as well, which has never been enacted.

An extensive Usdaw survey of over 1000 Scottish retail staff, found that:

*98 per cent say that stores should be shut on New Year’s Day

*Three quarters feel they spend too little time with friends and family over New Year.

*Only 4 per cent are happy to work on New Year’s Day or January 2.

The full survey results can be viewed at: www.usdaw.org.uk/NYDSurvey

Stewart Forrest, Usdaw’s Scottish divisional officer, said: “Usdaw’s survey clearly demonstrates the strength of feeling among our members. So we are calling on them, along with all shopworkers and the public, to support this petition for a decent break at New Year after the busy Christmas period.

“Retail staff work incredibly hard all year round, but it is particularly busy and stressful throughout December. So they deserve to be able to spend time with family and friends, only 4% of Scottish retail workers are happy to work on New Year’s Day.”

Paddy Lillis, Usdaw General Secretary, said: “Hogmanay and New Year is a special holiday in Scotland, but this is not reflected in the experience of many retail workers. Under the Christmas Day and New Year’s Day Trading (Scotland) Act 2007, Scottish Ministers may, by statutory instrument, ban large shops from opening on New Year’s Day, subject to consultation.

“On behalf of Scotland’s retail workers, we are urging the Scottish Government to open that consultation and for MSPs to listen to shopworkers concerns about their work/life balance.”

Sign the petition at: www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/newyearsday