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Sunday trading "will give retail business a boost," says business minister

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Business is set to get a boost from a relaxation in the Sunday Trading rule, Business Minister Norman Lamb has said.

Following legislation passed in May this year, Sunday trading legislation was relaxed from yesterday, sending a signal that Britain is open for business during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Lamb said: "The Olympic and Paralympic Games are almost upon us and you can sense the excitement building. This will be a fantastic opportunity to showcase, not just London, but the whole of the country to the rest of the world and provide a boost for the economy, sales and employment.

"Retail workers will keep all their legal protections, such as the right to opt-out of Sunday working, but many will want to take the opportunity to work extra or different hours. I want employers to work with their staff so that we can all make the most of the Olympics.

"I want to make it clear that this is a temporary measure and not a test case for a permanent relaxation of the rules in the future."

The suspension will only be for eight Sundays, from 22 July to the end of the Paralympic Games on 9 September. After this period the usual Sunday trading restrictions will apply again.

The change was announced in the Budget 2012, will mean that shops with a relevant floor area of more than 280 square metres will not be subject to current Sunday trading restrictions during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.