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Session 2003 - 04|
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|Christmas Day (Trading) Bill|
These notes refer to the Christmas Day (Trading) Bill as introduced in the House of Commons on 7 January 2004 [Bill 20]
CHRISTMAS DAY (TRADING) BILL
1. These Explanatory Notes relate to the Christmas Day (Trading) Bill as introduced in the House of Commons on 7 January 2004. They have been prepared by the Department of Trade and Industry with the consent of Kevan Jones, the Member in charge of the Bill, in order to assist the reader of the Bill and help inform debate. They do not form part of the Bill and have not been endorsed by Parliament.
2. The Notes need to be read in conjunction with the Bill. They are not, and are not meant to be, a comprehensive description of the Bill. So where a clause or part of a clause does not seem to require any explanation or comment, none is given.
SUMMARY AND BACKGROUND
3. The Bill prohibits large stores (as defined in the Sunday Trading Act 1994 ("the 1994 Act")) from opening on Christmas Day.
4. The 1994 Act prohibits large stores from opening on Christmas Day when that day falls on a Sunday. The purpose of the Bill is to extend that prohibition to Christmas Day where that day falls on a day of the week other than Sunday.
5. The Bill does not seek to regulate opening by stores with a relevant floor area (as defined) of 280 square metres (3,000 square feet) or less.
6. The main definitions of the terms contained in this Bill are set out in the glossary annexed to these Notes.
COMMENTARY ON CLAUSES
Clause 1: Prohibition of opening of large shops on Christmas Day
7. Subsection (1) prohibits large shops from opening on Christmas Day. Subsection (2) exempts those shops currently exempt from restrictions on Sunday trading under paragraph 3(1) of Schedule 1 to the 1994 Act. Shops covered by the exemption include farm shops, alcohol, motor or cycle suppliers, pharmacies, petrol stations and shops located in transport centres.
8. Subsection (4): this subsection amends paragraph 3(2) of Schedule 1 to the 1994 Act (which covers interpretation of the exemptions contained in paragraph 3(1) of that Schedule) insofar as it applies to this Bill and ensures that those exemptions apply to the provisions of this Bill.
Clause 2: Enforcement
9. Subsections (1) and (2) provide that local authorities shall be under a duty to enforce the prohibition of opening by large stores on Christmas Day and to appoint inspectors for this purpose. These inspectors may be the same people as the inspectors appointed under the 1994 Act.
10. Subsection (3) provides that inspectors will have the same powers as those appointed under the 1994 Act.
Clause 3: Consequential amendments
11. Subsections (1) to (3) contain consequential amendments of the 1994 Act. The prohibition on the opening of large shops on any Christmas Day which falls on a Sunday will now be imposed by the Bill rather than the 1994 Act.
Clause 5: Short title, interpretation, commencement and extent
12. The Bill is to come into force on a day to be appointed by the Secretary of State by order.
PUBLIC SECTOR FINANCIAL COST
13. The enforcement of the prohibition involves a potential increase in expenditure by local authorities. However, in practice, the additional expenditure is likely to be negligible.
EFFECTS OF THE BILL ON PUBLIC SERVICE MANPOWER
14. The Bill will have no effect on central government staff numbers. In view of the current practice and plans of large retailers, the effect of the Bill on local government staff numbers (in relation to enforcement) is expected to be negligible.
SUMMARY OF REGULATORY IMPACT ASSESSMENT
15. A preliminary Regulatory Impact Assessment was prepared by the Department of Trade and Industry to be included in the public consultation on the proposed regulation of Christmas Day trading by large stores. This assessed the impact of such a regulation on business as negligible since the vast majority of large retailers do not currently open on Christmas Day and have no immediate plans to do so. Comments were invited on this preliminary assessment but none were received.
16. A final Regulatory Impact Assessment is available on the DTI Consumer and Competition Policy website (www.dti.gov.uk/ccp/).
17. The Bill will be brought into force on a day to be appointed by the Secretary of State by order.
TERRITORIAL EXTENT AND TERRITORIAL APPLICATION
18. The Bill extends to England and Wales, but not to Scotland or Northern Ireland. The Bill will have no effect on the functions of the National Assembly for Wales, as functions relating to trading are not devolved as regards Wales.
GLOSSARY OF PRINCIPAL TERMS DEFINED IN THE BILL BY REFERENCE TO THE 1994 ACT
The words in square brackets above are to be inserted into the definition in the 1994 Act (in place of a reference to Sunday) by clause 1(5) of this Bill insofar as the definition applies to the meaning of "large shop" in this Bill.
|© Parliamentary copyright 2004||Prepared: 2 March 2004|