Laws to prevent large retailers opening their doors on Christmas Day could be in place before the festive season.
The Christmas Day Trading Bill aims to ban stores larger than 3,000 sq ft from opening and prevent staff being forced to work. The bill cleared its third reading in the House of Commons last week and will now be considered in the Lords. It looks set to become law before Christmas 2004. Usdaw general secretary John Hannett said although few big stores opened on Christmas Day he feared in such a competitive industry if one company broke ranks others would follow.
Hannett said he was confident the law would be passed before December and could even be in place as early as next month.
“We are very hopeful that it will not encounter any stumbling blocks.”