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Sunday Trading

Sunday Trading - deregulation

At its meeting on 30th September 2015, the States voted to repeal the Sunday Trading Ordinance, 2002 and its associated amendment ordinances. This will have the effect of completely deregulating Sunday trading, meaning that any shop will be able to open on any Sunday. There will be no restrictions on what shops can sell, or their opening hours.

The repeal Ordinance is scheduled to go before the States on 9th December 2015, once approved, it will have immediate effect. We therefore expect that shops will be able to open unregulated on Sundays from 13th December 2015.

If you have any questions or concerns about employee protection for shop workers as a result of these changes, please visit the Employment Relations section of the gov.gg website, here.

We have recently received a number of requests for details of the results of the survey we carried out prior to submitting the Policy Letter to the States. This information was provided as an appendix to the Policy Letter and is available in the Billet, here.

Sunday trading - the current system

It is the responsibility of individual Islanders or groups/associations to make appropriate application for Sunday trading and related matters. The day-to-day administration of this topic of our community life is undertaken by the ten island parish authorities (the Parish Constables and Douzaines).

Who requires a Sunday Trading Licence?

If a shop wishes to open on a Sunday or if goods are to be displayed for sale at an event such as a car boot sale or at an exhibition, then a Sunday opening licence must be obtained beforehand.

This aspect of life is regulated by the Sunday Trading Ordinance, 2002.

How to get a Sunday Trading Licence?

The day-to-day administration of this topic is undertaken by the ten island parish authorities (the Parish Constables and Douzaines) but for the sake of island wide uniformity the Commerce and Employment Department has produced some Traders' notes for guidance, which provide a simplified explanation of the requirements of the law.  These can be viewed here.

Briefly, there are 13 categories of licence, ranging from newsagents licences to plant and garden centre licences.  Some limited types of shop are exempt, however, such as cafés and restaurants.  There are also separate licences for special events (eg a summer fete) and for emergency purposes (eg a major storm warranting the opening of builder's merchants).

At the foot of this page can be found links to the relevant application forms, although it is advisable to read the Traders' notes for guidance before completing the appropriate form.

The form must be submitted, together with the required fee, to the parish in which the shop is located at least 28 days before the licence is required.  In the case of an application for a mobile shop, the application must be forwarded to the parish of residence of the proprietor.
Please do not send application forms to the Commerce and Employment Department.
Further advice and information can be obtained from the officials of the relevant parish to which an application would be made. Contact details for parishes can be found by following the link to Douzaines in the Related Pages section.

Protection Rights for Employees

Under the Part IIA (Protection for Sunday Shop Workers) of the Employment Protection (Guernsey) Law, 1998*, shop workers have the right;

  • not to be dismissed
  • not to be selected for redundancy
  • not to suffer any other detriment for refusing, or proposing to refuse, to do work in or about a shop on a Sunday.

These rights apply irrespective of age, length of service or hours of work. However, they do not apply to those employed to work only on Sundays. The advisory booklet "The Requirements of the Employment Protection (Sunday Shop Working) (Guernsey) Law, 2001" provides more detailed information on employee's rights and employer's obligations.

* Part IIA was inserted in the 1998 Law by the Employment Protection (Sunday Shop Working) (Guernsey) Law, 2001.

What if I believe someone is trading without a licence?

It is appropriate to report the matter to the Constables of the parish in which the shop is located.

If total confidentiality is required the Crimestoppers line (0800 555 111) may be used.

Sunday Trading

Raymond Falla House,  PO Box 459,  Longue Rue,  St Martin’s,  Guernsey,  GY1 6AF,  Channel Islands
Tel: 44 1481 234567 Fax: 44 1481 235015
Email: ts@commerce.gov.gg

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