Scots are being asked for their views on whether major stores should be barred from opening on New Year’s Day.
And while some in Tayside and Fife feel workers should have the choice, many think it is bad for health and wellbeing to work during the festive period.
The Scottish Government is consulting on whether to change the law to prevent large shops from opening for business on January 1 – as is already the case on Christmas Day.
The Scottish Government said results would help ministers decide whether they should make an order under the Christmas and New Year’s Day Trading (Scotland) Act 2007 to stop stores with 280 metres or more of floor space from opening up on January 1.
It comes after a petition was submitted to Holyrood, calling for bigger shops to be barred from trading on New Year’s Day.
Retail businesses and their staff are being encouraged to have their say during the consultation, which runs until August 24.
It’s very important for people to be able to spend time with their family at this time of the year. It’s crucial to mental health and wellbeing. If small family-run businesses can close, so can the big ones.
Cameron Whitelaw, sales executive, Guardbridge
Public finance minister, Tom Arthur, said: “The last year has shown how much we all rely on retailers and their staff who have supported the country during the pandemic.
“As we look at recovery and building a sustainable economy we need to consider what will support businesses and their staff in the future.”
People should definitely have the choice about whether they want to work on New Year’s Day. They should be paid extra for it if they do. Many will want to spend it with their friends but others might be glad of the extra money.
Jess Ritchie, fashion retail assistant, Kingennie
Mr Arthur continued: ““Following a petition to the Scottish Parliament’s Public Petitions Committee calling for trading to be banned on New Year’s Day, the Scottish Government has been engaging with business groups, trades unions and others to understand what impact this would have on business and staff.
“This consultation will help us to determine whether the current law should change and restrict large retailers from trading on New Year’s Day, as they currently do on Christmas Day. ”
I’ve worked on New Year’s Days and its always difficult and very tiring (especially after the stress of Boxing Day sales and the all the preparations for January sales).
Then again, having stores close will only delay that for one more day and it’ll happen on the 2nd instead. At least closing would give retail workers a tiny bit of respite after the Christmas madness.
Catherine Taylor, Fife
The Scottish Government is encouraging everybody with an interest to complete this consultation to ensure their views are considered.
“I don’t think the shops should be open on New Year’s Day, it is unnecessary.
Gillian Bell, care worker, Fife