Check if you have to work on Sundays
You usually have to work on Sundays if your employer wants you to. The rules are different if you work in a shop or a betting shop.
Your employer doesn’t have to pay you more for working on Sundays, but some employers do. Look at your contract to find out your pay for Sunday work.
You can check if you have to work on Sundays by looking at your written terms or contract. These might say you have to work Sundays, or hours that could include Sundays - for example, if they say your hours might vary. If they don't, you can refuse to work Sundays.
If it’s a problem for you to work on Sundays, for example childcare needs or religious reasons, ask your employer if they can change your work days.
If your contract doesn't say you have to work on Sundays
Try talking to your employer. Explain that Sunday working isn't in your contract.
Your employer could ask you to agree to a change in your contract to include working Sundays. You can check what to do if your employer wants to change your contract.
If you've worked for your employer for less than 2 years, they can dismiss you for not working Sundays.
If you work in a shop or betting shop
You have special rights not to work on Sundays. This is called ‘opting out’. This includes if you work at a barbers, hairdressers or a bookmakers at a sports venue.
You can only opt out if you have already started your job. You can’t opt out if you were only hired to work on Sundays.
You might have to give your employer notice that you want to opt out - it depends how long you've worked for them.
Check if you need to give notice to opt out
You don't have to give notice to stop working on Sundays if either:
- you've worked for the same shop since since 26 August 1994 or earlier
- you've worked for the same betting shop since 2 January 1995 or earlier
If this applies to you, then all you have to do to stop working on Sundays is to tell your employer.
If you're not in one of these situations, you need to give notice to opt out.
Giving notice to opt out
To opt out, give your employer 3 months' notice that you want to stop working on Sundays. You should give your notice in writing. Make sure to sign and date the notice. Keep a copy for yourself. Your employer can ask you to keep working on Sundays during your notice period.
Your employer should give you details about how to opt out within 2 months of starting your job. If they don’t, you only need to give 1 month’s notice to opt out.
If you opt out, your employer doesn’t have to offer you work on a different day, but you could discuss this with them.
If you want to start working on Sundays again
You can start working on Sundays again by opting back in. To opt back in, write to your employer saying you don’t object to working on Sundays. Sign and date the notice. Keep a copy for yourself.
Agree with your employer how many Sundays you'll work. For example, you might want to only work 1 Sunday every 4 weeks.
If you opt in to working Sundays, you can opt out again at any time. You'll need to give notice again if you want to opt out.
If you’ve been treated unfairly or dismissed
Your employer can't treat you worse than staff who work on Sundays. Check what to do if your employer is treating you unfairly.
If you're fired from your job for not working on Sundays, this automatically counts as unfair dismissal. Find out how to challenge your dismissal.