Sunday, 12 February 2017

1702.12 SUNDAYS USED TO BE SPECIAL

When I was a child Sundays used to be a time you spent with your family, TV was rubbish and it was illegal for shops to open (although some did so illegally). So what did we do? Well I used to visit my grandparents, Sunday dinner was mandatory and I remember listening to the radio quite a bit. I'm not from a religious background but I felt Sundays were a special day.

In 1994 new Sunday trading laws in England and Wales basically allowed trading with restrictions and apart from a brief lifting in 2012 for the Olympics they still stand now. So how have things changed in the 20 odd years since? Do families spend time together or has it just become another day?

Well the shops are usually packed for the 6 hours they are permitted to open and TV has undergone a revolution since then (as has home entertainment). Attractions are more popular than ever and traffic to beauty spots is usually heavy on the 7th day. Perhaps people do have family time on Sunday.

Does the sacred Sunday dinner still happen? I think it's not as much but eating out is more common with Sunday carveries doing great trade.

With all this extra activity does this mean more people have to work on a Sunday? Simply yes. The shops are fully staffed as are the attractions and restaurants/pubs. Workers' rights were initially protected in law but over time thus has been eroded to the point that for some Sunday is just a regular working day. Enhanced pay for the day is just about gone having been phased out over the years.

So with Sunday being potentially 'just another day' is it time to remove all of the restrictions? Should shops open all day? I'm not sure. The only thing I feel strongly is preserving the ban on trading on Christmas day and Easter Sunday.  Somethings should remain special. 

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