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Businesses enjoy extended Sunday trading hours

Sunday trading laws have been suspended for the duration of the Olympic and Paralympic games, in a bid to boost businesses across England and Wales.

Under the Sunday Trading Act, large shops of over 280 square metres are currently restricted to six hours of continuous trading, between 10am and 6pm, on Sundays.

Commenting on the measure, which was announced in the 2012 Budget, business minister Norman Lamb said, ‘Retail workers will keep all their legal protections, such as the right to opt out of Sunday working, but many will want to take the opportunity to work extra or different hours’.

‘I want employers to work with their staff so that we can all make the most of the Olympics.’

However, some critics of the scheme have expressed concerns that employees may feel obliged to work additional hours, while others fear that the big supermarkets will lure customers away from smaller, family-run shops.

The temporary suspension will last until the close of the Paralympic Games on 9 September.