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Thursday, March 23, 2017
Court to hear case of employee sacked for refusing work on Sundays
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¬†Today, the Court of Appeal will consider the case of an employee who was sacked for refusing to work on a Sunday, Stephen Copsey, an employee in a company in Kings Lynn, Norfolk, said he did not want to work regularly on Sundays, as it was against his Christian faith. In the Sunday debate which was concluded by the Shops Act in 1994, it was argued that Sunday work benefited consumers, many of whom expressed with their feet that they wanted the freedom to shop on Sundays. Although subsequent economic analysis raised questions about the benefits to the retail sector as a whole, undoubtedly large shops, out-of-town retailers and sectors such as garden centres and DIYs have benefited at the expense of the High Street, small shops and the clothing and footwear sectors. The benefits to consumers in terms of convenience are demonstrated by the numbers seen shopping on a Sunday. But the social cost of the change introduced by the Shops Act is hard to measure. Recent research by Keep Time for Children showed that 119,000 single mothers ≠ many with children of school age ≠ now work regularly on both Saturday and Sunday. They do not have even one day a week with their children. As a case in Cambridge demonstrated, this can lead to disastrous consequences when children are left unsupervised and find their way to the homes of known paedophiles on low-income estates. More than a third of all school age children in Britain are now affected by parents working at least one day at weekends, and over a million and a half children have at least one parent working both Saturdays and Sundays on a regular basis. One recent study showed that more people now want the shops to open less hours on a Sunday than want more hours. When asked in a recent NOP poll (April 12 2005) which they thought was more important ≠ a common weekly day off so that as many people as possible are free to spend time with family and friends, or to have a 24/7 society so that everyone can shop when they like, three out of four people opted for the common weekly day off as the priority. Around 87 per cent said they thought a common weekly day off was important for family stability and community life. Source: Lawyers Christian Fellowship
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