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Sunday Working Rights

By: Kevin Watson MSc - Updated: 29 Jul 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Sunday Working Contracts Shops Betting

Various businesses are open on Sundays. The obvious examples are shops, transport, restaurants and leisure facilities. But it doesn't matter what line of work people are in. These days, there's a strong possibility an employer may ask for Sunday working.

Contracts

A contract of employment may include a clause obliging an employee to work on Sundays. This obligation may be a regular commitment or an occasional request. Either way, an employee with such a contract must be ready to work on Sundays.

A written statement of terms and conditions may contain similar wording to a contract. Any employee unsure about Sunday working should read his or her contract or terms and conditions.

An employee with a contract that fails to mention Sunday working does not have to work on Sundays. An employer who wants such an employee to work on Sundays must change the contract.

The employer and the employee must agree to the contract change. An employee is not obliged to accept a change that adds Sunday working to the contract terms.

When a contract does not include Sunday working, any attempt by an employer to make an employee work on Sundays is a breach of contract.

Retail Workers and Those in the Betting Industry

Special Sunday rules apply to people who work in shops or in the betting industry. The contracts may say that employees must work on Sundays, but employees have a right to opt out. Employers must inform staff about this right within two months of taking them on.

Anyone who wants to take the Sunday opt-out must put a request in writing. The employer has a right to three months' written notice.

Employers do not have to offer alternative work to those who opt out of Sunday working. An opt-out does not affect the security of a job, however. The law does not allow employers to sack shop and betting industry workers who use the Sunday opt-out rule.

Long-Term Shop and Betting Industry Workers

Other Sunday rules apply to long-term shop and betting industry workers. Long-term shop workers are those who've worked since 25 August 1994 for the same employer. Long-term betting industry workers are those who've worked since 2 January 1995 for the same employer.

A long-term employee simply has to tell an employer he or she doesn't want to work on Sundays. There's no need to give three months' written notice. This protection is for workers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland only.

Long-term workers can choose to come in on Sundays, if they wish. They must give employers written notice. Employees should agree what Sundays they are prepared to work, what hours they will do, and what work they will perform.

A long-term worker who opts to work on Sundays can opt out in the future. Any employee who wants to stop Sunday working in these circumstances must give the employer an agreed amount of notice.

Religious Belief

Christians may prefer not to work on Sundays. The best approach, as recommended by the government, is to speak to the employer. If all goes well, the employer will take a reasonable view and adjust shifts.

It is illegal for an employer to discriminate against a member of staff because of his or her religion. In some instances, Christians may need to invoke this law. It may be wise to seek guidance from Citizens Advice or a Union before confronting an employer.

Extra Money for Sunday Working

The law does not oblige employers to pay more for Sunday working than they would on other days. The employer can choose whether to pay extra or not.

In some business areas, normal working hours follow a set Monday to Friday, or Monday to Saturday pattern. An employer may decide to pay time-and-a-half or double time for those who come in on Sundays. Some employers offer time off during the week for working on a Sunday.

Employees should check their contracts, and terms and conditions. If there is no mention of Sunday working, but they are happy to come in on a Sunday, they should speak to their employers about extra pay or holidays.

Difficulties With Sunday Working

People's circumstances change. Someone who regularly works on Sunday may wish to stop. Shop and betting industry workers have the chance to opt out. Other workers should speak to their employers to see if it's possible to come to an arrangement. Unions, Citizens Advice Bureaux and Community Legal Advice may be able to give help if a problem arises.

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I'm currently working for a company called assured who sub contract me to another company called Evans and halshaw. My working hours was Monday to Friday and every other Saturday. But now I'm being told that I have to work every other Sunday as well with a day off during the week. I get paid £55 a day but get money taken off each week for uniform, chemicals, and insurance which takes me down to about £3.75ph. Please could you let me know if this is legal thank you.
Gaz - 29-Jul-18 @ 11:26 PM
mel - Your Question:
My employer did not tell me they just stopped me and only me from sunday working it was the only time I recieved overtime I have lost nearly 9000.00 over 4 years while the staff on the same contract co ntinue to work surely this is a breech of contract

Our Response:
If your employer changed the terms of your contract without your agreement, then you may have a case to complain. Please see link here .
WorkingRights - 17-Jul-18 @ 12:30 PM
My employer did not tell me they just stopped me and only me from sunday working it was the only time i recieved overtimei have lost nearly 9000.00 over 4 years while the staff on the same contract co ntinue to worksurely this is a breech of contract
mel - 16-Jul-18 @ 7:23 PM
iwork in thebetting industry and my contract mentions sunday workingpaid at a higher ratei was with an independent bookmaker and in 2012 we weretupe to another bookmaker my contract was mon to sat with sunday as a extra i had been working sundays since i began in 2008. my new employer stopped me from working sundays saying i was sending the shop over budget.There were other staff on the same contract as myself and there were allowed to continue working. is this a breech of contract
mel - 16-Jul-18 @ 7:12 PM
Radder - Your Question:
Hello, I work in Tesco and Sunday is one of my contracted days and I’m looking to get out of that contract as I work Saturdays and sundays and I would like to be going out and be more social on my weekends. I have given my employer a written note saying I object to Sunday working. Is he allowed to say no to my request? Thanks

Our Response:
The link here should help answer your question.
WorkingRights - 28-Jun-18 @ 11:04 AM
Hello, I work in Tesco and Sunday is one of my contracted days and I’m looking to get out of that contract as I work Saturdays and sundays and I would like to be going out and be more social on my weekends. I have given my employer a written note saying I object to Sunday working. Is he allowed to say no to my request? Thanks
Radder - 27-Jun-18 @ 4:31 PM
Sog - Your Question:
Work in retail. Was tupe 2 months ago so have gone from regular weekdays to shift pattern,usually receiving shift hours on the Friday before. Ie 2-3 days notice. Also now having to work 1 in 2 Saturdays. Now told from next week will be expected to do Sundays as well. Can they legally do this under tupe laws. None of us want to work weekends, as when transferred was told the shifts where only temporary until a manager was hired. Our original contracts state hours to be worked in accordance with the needs of the business. The actual allocation of working hours shall be as notified to you by your immediate supervisor. So can we legally say no to weekend work

Our Response:
The link here which should help answer your question further.
WorkingRights - 19-Jun-18 @ 10:17 AM
Work in retail. Was tupe 2 months ago so have gone from regular weekdays to shift pattern,usually receiving shift hours on the Friday before. Ie 2-3 days notice. Also now having to work 1 in 2 Saturdays. Now told from next week will be expected to do Sundays as well. Can they legally do this under tupe laws. None of us want to work weekends, as when transferred was told the shifts where only temporary until a manager was hired. Our original contracts state hours to be worked in accordance with the needs of the business. The actual allocation of working hours shall be as notified to you by your immediate supervisor. So can we legally say no to weekend work
Sog - 18-Jun-18 @ 11:14 AM
Hem68 - Your Question:
I want to drop Sunday's at tesco as can no longer manage 6 day contract should they try and offer me more hours in the week to compensate or not

Our Response:
You can see more about Sunday working and your options via the link here .
WorkingRights - 31-May-18 @ 1:44 PM
I want to drop Sunday's at tesco as can no longer manage 6 day contract should they try and offer me more hours in the week to compensate or not
Hem68 - 30-May-18 @ 5:56 PM
I've been working in retail for 3 years and I have to work on Sundays. Thursday Friday and Sunaday are my contracted day. Employer is going to cut my sunday premium. Can I opt out Sunday in this case???
Mira - 8-May-18 @ 10:04 AM
My contract will soon be amended (not a new contract) from 35 hrs to 40 hrs as well as no longer getting double pay on Sundays or Bank Hol. This is due to a change of working environment which requires Sunday and BH to be treated as a normal working day as well as new departmental structure. I have had double pay on Sundays and BH for the last 10 years as it was considered exceptional days to work. Obviously, there will be an pay increase to reflect the 5 hour increase but should my employer financially compensate the fact that I will not be getting double pay on Sundays and BH as they are now treated as any other day of the week?
Dr Spok - 22-Apr-18 @ 9:47 PM
Craigssss - Your Question:
Hi I'm in need of some advice on where I stand at work;I work for Greggs - Started in July/August 2004. My contracted hours (which have never changed - although I tend to do more most weeks) are 15 hours a week (days not set - must be flexible). When I first started I never worked sundays but was available the rest of the week (Monday- Saturday) usually doing 5 out of the 7 days a week (most of the time well above my contracted hours). About 5 years ago my (then) manager asked me if I would work "some" Sunday's. I was told it wouldn't be for long, it would only be til they got some more regular Sunday staff in & I wouldn't have to do every Sunday. I agreed to do them with the understanding that it wouldn't be for long & wouldn't be every Sunday- since then I've worked every Sunday (with the exception of when I've booked them off as holiday)I asked my area manager during a meeting I had with her in November (2017) about stopping working sundays and she told me I could opt out of Sunday working but this would reduce my contracted hours (from 15 down to 10 or 12 per week) can they do this when:1. I only agreed to work sundays originally to help them out & I was told it wouldn't be for long.?2. I will still be available to work 5 days a week (I opted out of Saturday working back in November by putting in a flexible working form) and so will still be able to do my contracted 15 hours a week - and more when they need me to.i would be greatful for any advice on where I stand on thisThanksCraig

Our Response:
Having to work on a Sunday depends on whether it’s mentioned in your employment contract or whether flexibility from Monday-Sat is mentioned and/or whether your contract was changed when you agreed to work Sunday. If you have written evidence (i.e email) that your employer specified Sunday working would only be temporary, then you would have a case to challenge this with your employer. In this case, you would really have to give Acas a call, as it's rather a grey area. If your contract specifies that you are contracted to work 15 hours Mon-Sat flexible working, then your employer may be breaching the contract if it attempts to reduce your hours when Sunday working is not mentioned as part of your contract. I hope this makes sense.
WorkingRights - 9-Apr-18 @ 10:41 AM
Hi I'm in need of some advice on where I stand at work; I work for Greggs - Started in July/August 2004. My contracted hours (which have never changed - although I tend to do more most weeks) are 15 hours a week (days not set - must be flexible). When I first started I never worked sundays but was available the rest of the week (Monday- Saturday) usually doing 5 out of the 7 days a week (most of the time well above my contracted hours) . About 5 years ago my (then) manager asked me if I would work "some" Sunday's. I was told it wouldn't be for long, it would only be til they got some more regular Sunday staff in & I wouldn't have to do every Sunday. I agreed to do them with the understanding that it wouldn't be for long & wouldn't be every Sunday- since then I've worked every Sunday(with the exception of when I've booked them off as holiday) I asked my area manager during a meeting I had with her in November(2017) about stopping working sundays and she told me I could opt out of Sunday working but this would reduce my contracted hours (from 15 down to 10 or 12 per week) can they do this when: 1. I only agreed to work sundays originally to help them out & I was told it wouldn't be for long.? 2. I will still be available to work 5 days a week (I opted out of Saturday working back in November by putting in a flexible working form) and so will still be able to do my contracted 15 hours a week - and more when they need me to. i would be greatful for any advice on where I stand on this Thanks Craig
Craigssss - 8-Apr-18 @ 12:42 AM
Matty1972 - Your Question:
The shop I work is about to start opening Sundays in line with other shops in the chain. I've been told if I opt out of Sundays I could have my hours cut I'm contracted 42 hours a week. I'm an assistant manager can this be done?

Our Response:
You can see more about your rights regarding contract changes via the link here. If you do not agree to any changes give Acas a ring in order to explore your rights.
WorkingRights - 6-Apr-18 @ 11:34 AM
The shop I work is about to start opening Sundays in line with other shops in the chain. I've been told if I opt out of Sundays I could have my hours cut I'm contracted 42 hours a week. I'm an assistant manager can this be done?
Matty1972 - 5-Apr-18 @ 5:52 PM
Clairel - Your Question:
When I first started my job I was contracted sundays and other days, which wasnt a problem. I recently had a baby and my circumstances have changed, as childcare is hard to find on weekends. I have told them that I cant work sundays and they said that I have to and that is my hours and that they need me for them hours. Unfortunately I cant afford to leave so I have had to struggle and stress over this. What are my rights regarding this please. Ive been here nearly two years!

Our Response:
A) You have a right to request flexible working, please see link here . B) All shop workers can opt out of Sunday working unless Sunday is the only day they have been employed to work on. They can opt out of Sunday working at any time, even if they agreed to it in their contract. Shop workers must: give their employer three months’ notice that they want to opt out continue to work on Sundays during the three month notice period if their employer wants them to. An employer who needs staff to work on Sundays must tell them in writing that they can opt out. They must do this within two months of the person starting work - if they don’t, only one month’s notice is needed to opt out. An employee can’t be dismissed or treated unfairly for choosing not to work on Sundays, please see gov.uk link here . Hopefully, this gives you options to consider.
WorkingRights - 16-Mar-18 @ 11:39 AM
When i first started my job i was contracted sundays and other days, which wasnt a problem. I recently had a baby and my circumstances have changed, as childcare is hard to find on weekends. I have told them that i cant work sundays and they said that i have to and that is my hours and that they need me for them hours. Unfortunately i cant afford to leave so i have had to struggle and stress over this. What are my rights regarding this please. Ive been here nearly two years!
Clairel - 15-Mar-18 @ 2:44 PM
Pedro - Your Question:
I have been sent a Rota to work from 10 till 7pm next Sunday. We usually finish at 5 but they want us to stay behind and call customers when the store closes. Do we have to stay or can we opt out?

Our Response:
Much depends upon what the terms and conditions of your contract says. You can see more via the link here , which should explain fully.
WorkingRights - 19-Feb-18 @ 3:37 PM
I have been sent a Rota to work from 10 till 7pm next Sunday. We usually finish at 5 but they want us to stay behind and call customers when the store closes. Do we have to stay or can we opt out?
Pedro - 17-Feb-18 @ 8:52 PM
Sami - Your Question:
I work in a call centre who have decided to open on a Sunday , I work Monday to sat Thursday off. Can they make me work a Sunday ?

Our Response:
Your employer can request a change in your contract, if there is a clause in your current contract says your employer can do this and/or you agree to the changes. You can see more via the gov.uk link here , with regards to Sunday working.
WorkingRights - 8-Feb-18 @ 11:52 AM
I work in a call centre who have decided to open on a Sunday , I work Monday to sat Thursday off . Can they make me work a Sunday ?
Sami - 7-Feb-18 @ 8:22 AM
From 1989 to 2014 I worked Sundays as overtime2 in 4 or 3 or 4 depending onmy monthlyspend In 2014 my employercontractedme to work Sundays Gettingdoubletime ment I couldsave £250 a month into a Saye Last year they reduceddoubletime to time &a half This year it goes down to Time &a quarter The year after straighttime It's no longer viablefor me to keepworkingSundaysas I feel it no longer has a good work life balance. I've been in my job since1986 And full time since1989 does my employerhave the rightto ensureI don'tget extrahours on what are my days off to keep my full time hours and pay 36.5
Skiller - 27-Jan-18 @ 8:24 PM
From 1989 to 2014 I worked Sundays as overtime2 in 4 or 3 or 4 depending onmy monthlyspend In 2014 my employercontractedme to work Sundays Gettingdoubletime ment I couldsave £250 a month into a Saye Last year they reduceddoubletime to time &a half This year it goes down to Time &a quarter The year after straighttime It's no longer viablefor me to keepworkingSundaysas I feel it no longer has a good work life balance. I've been in my job since1986 And full time since1989 does my employerhave the rightto ensureI don'tget extrahours on what are my days off to keep my full time hours and pay 36.5
Skiller - 27-Jan-18 @ 8:24 PM
Retailworker - Your Question:
Hi I work as a shift manager on a 32 hour contract that states two weekends per month (2x Saturday 2x Sunday).I have recently opted out of Sunday working but management have told me as I am opting out of Sundays I will have to work 4 Saturdays a month.My contract specifically states 2x Saturdays. Are they allowed to do this? Many Thanks.

Our Response:
Your employer is allowed to change the terms and conditions of your contract if there is a clause in your contract that allows your employer to do this. You may wish to give ACAS a call regarding this matter in order to explore your and your employer's rights.
WorkingRights - 12-Jan-18 @ 2:07 PM
Hi I work as a shift manager on a 32 hour contract that states two weekends per month (2x Saturday 2x Sunday). I have recently opted out of Sunday working but management have told me as I am opting out of Sundays I will have to work 4 Saturdays a month. My contract specifically states 2x Saturdays. Are they allowed to do this? Many Thanks.
Retailworker - 11-Jan-18 @ 7:50 PM
Hi i work in retail and for the last 4 years ive worked 1 in 4 sundays!! I get paid 4 weekly and when i get paid thats the sunday i work so its easy to work out. But this year xmas eve was my sunday on but company gave me it off and are trying to bring me in new years eve which isnt my sunday on?? Do i have to do it as surely theyr changing my work pattern and i only found out 2 weeks ago!!
killie73 - 24-Dec-17 @ 8:04 AM
Hi, I wonder if someone could help. I work within the financial sector in a controls job that validates IT service resiliency. I have worked for my organisation for more than 20 years & performs my job well. The organisation which I work for likes to present itself to the world as a forward thinking, caring sharing service provider and employer. I have always believed this but recently Overtime / TOIL arrangements for my role has been challenged as we do need to work overnight through the night sometimes to perform the tests we do to limit disruption to our business. My contract is a standard 9-5 Monday to Friday and the overtime policy is written that if you work overtime you can claim time & half. However as we work overnight we have been advised previously that we still need to maintain our contractual hours if working overnight that runs too or from Monday - Friday. Some indivuals have even just work 2am - 9am and gained just 1/2 hour overtime for each hour worked overnight as we are told that we still need to work our contractual hours. Our local overtime needs fall outside the organisations policy at the moment and it doesn’t differenceate if you perform overtime during “normal” hours or overnight & it doesn’t detail anything around a right to recover from overnight overtime or the 11 hour European work time directive. It appears that some in my department may be taken advantage of and receive different overtime than others. Can you provide any help as I have now been told that my objection to not having an overtime policy that sits in with my local areas business objectives and that because I have called out that I can not comply to health & safety compliance (& am the only one too) is now leading to an investigation and that when they decide a scenario may suit having TOIL & overtime my whole area will loose out. Things are not documented and I would like them to be so that as colleagues we all now that we are being treated fairly and equally.
Theworkplacegremlin - 26-Oct-17 @ 9:39 PM
Hi I've been working at the same retail job for 6 years 16 hours a week due to being a single parent. In this time i have never worked a Sunday but always work a Saturday. I have signed a contract saying i will be available on a Saturday night to do stock takes when ever they are scheduled which i do. They are now on the rota to be done on a Sunday morning 5am and no one has a say we have to do them this is without changing our contacts is this even allowed?. If i opt out of Sundays then when it comes to stock take week do they still have to give me my contacted 16 hours only at the min when its stock take its included in my 16 hours due to being on housing benefit i never go over my 16 hours a week so will i loose them2.5 hours when it is stock take? And will i even be able to opt out of a Sunday shift and still not have to come in for a stock if its on the rota for a Sundayas i never signed anything saying i will do stock on Sundays only Saturdays as stated in my contract.. Please help i have spoken to my manager and higher above but basically get the same response... Im the only single parent part time worker in my shop so im pretty out numbered when it comes to my vote and only seems to be me its not working for G
G - 25-Oct-17 @ 9:00 AM
Hi I work in a cafe and we are open Monday to Saturday but as Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve is on a Sunday this year my boss has decided to open. Do I have to work on them days when I don’t normal work them?
Jill - 25-Oct-17 @ 6:25 AM
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