The requirements are: 

  • All shops with an internal retail/display area not exceeding 280 square metres (341 square yards or 3069 square feet) are permitted to open at any time on a Sunday. 
  • Any shop with an internal retail area above 280 square metres may only trade for up to six consecutive hours on a Sunday, between 10.00 a.m. and 6.00 p.m. 
  • The Act ignores any external or open display, such as may be found in garden centres/DIY stores and also ignores storage, office and other non retail sale areas, and only applies to the sale of goods, not services.  The sale of meals, refreshments and intoxicating liquors on or off the premises is also exempted. 
  • The shop must display, both inside and outside the store, a notice specifying its permitted trading hours on a Sunday, when open on any Sunday. 
  • Large shops may not open on a Sunday which is Easter Day or Christmas Day. 

Without consideration of size of shop, the following may trade on a Sunday:

  • Farm shops selling wholly, or mainly, produce of that farm.
  • Shops selling wholly, or mainly, intoxicating liquor.
  • Shops selling wholly, or mainly, motor cycle supplies and accessories.
  • A registered pharmacy selling only medical products etc.
  • Shops at airports, railway stations, service stations and petrol stations.
  • Stands at exhibitions selling by retail during an exhibition.

There is also an exemption for owners/companies which follow the Jewish faith and others who observe the Jewish Sabbath.

Schedule 4 of the Act gives new rights for shop employees:  

  • Any shop workers may not be dismissed or made redundant for refusing to work on Sunday.
  • Any shop worker may not suffer for refusing to work on Sundays in terms of bonuses, training, promotion etc.

These notes are intended as guidance only and you are advised to access an online copy of the relevant legislation.