Shops could be banned from trading on New Year’s Day under controversial new proposals.
More than 2,000 people have backed a petition formed by the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (Usdaw) and it is now being considered by the government.
The group says its members “regularly” raise issues about the impact of working over Christmas and New Year.
In a recent survey, 72% said that they or their colleagues had come under pressure to work on New Year’s Day or January 2.
Almost half said it was not voluntary, and 79% said that they are not happy to work on those dates.
The Christmas Day and New Year’s Day Trading (Scotland) Act 2007 currently prohibits shops operating from premises over 280 square metres in size on Christmas Day alone.
Holyrood’s Public Petitions Committee has now written to GMB Scotland, Scotmid Co-operative, Scottish Retail Consortium and Scottish Trades Union Congress to gather their views.
And the Scottish Retail Consortium has been quick to blast the move as “frankly surreal”.
Its director, David Lonsdale, said: “Where there is demand from customers and availability of staff then shops ought to be free to choose to open on New Year’s Day if they so wish.
“Banning trading permanently on Ne’er Day is short-sighted considering customers can already shop online whenever they choose.”