Clause 1 - Sunday working: shop andbetting workers in Scotland

Part of Sunday Working (Scotland) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:30 am on 26th March 2003.

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Photo of Michael Weir Michael Weir Scottish National Party, Angus 9:30 am, 26th March 2003

I will be brief. Obviously, the Scottish National party also supports the Bill, which may seem strange because we are not usually keen to see Westminster legislating for Scotland. We recognise

that there is an anomaly and we are keen for Scottish workers to have equivalent rights.

Clause 1 is clear and concise and is most welcome. As the hon. Member for Galloway and Upper Nithsdale (Mr. Duncan) noted, Scotland has a different history of Sunday working. It is unfortunate that the Bill is necessary because of the actions of one particular employer, as the hon. Member for Aberdeen, North (Mr. Savidge) highlighted. Most employers act reasonably. However, as the paper produced by the Scotland Office points out, because companies work in Scotland, England and other parts of the UK, Scottish workers are employed under myriad different contracts. Effectively, some have the protection of English law, some do not and some have no protection whatsoever.

Although religious objections in Aberdeen were the original reason for the Bill, there is a wider need for people to have at least one day off to spend with their families if they wish. We give wholehearted support to the Bill and along with the official Opposition we will help it to move at full speed through the House at every opportunity.