Changes to Manitoba’s Retail Businesses Holiday Closing Act will come into effect Aug. 1, meaning Manitobans can start shopping on Sunday mornings this summer in municipalities that pass bylaws to extend Sunday hours. This announcement was made by Family Services and Labour Minister Jennifer Howard.
The changes give municipalities the ability to extend opening hours on Sundays and some statutory holidays, while protecting retail workers who would rather not work expanded hours.
“These changes are in response to the desire of consumers and businesses to find ways to make Sunday shopping in Manitoba less restrictive while respecting that some employees may prefer not to work expanded hours,” said Howard. “We have listened to what Manitobans have asked for and made practical changes.”
• expands the hours retail businesses can be open on Sundays under a municipal bylaw by an additional three hours in the morning, widening Sunday shopping hours from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.;
• applies expanded hours to Louis Riel Day, Victoria Day and Thanksgiving Day;
• authorizes employment standards officers to order an employer to compensate or reinstate an employee penalized for exercising their right to refuse work on a Sunday; and
• affirms that retail workers have the right to refuse work on Sundays, provided they give their employer at least 14 days notice. (The full 14 days notice is not required for the first two Sundays of August, however, employees must give their employer as much notice as is reasonable.)
The Retail Businesses Holiday Closing Act allows retailers that regularly operate with four or more people to open on Sundays or certain holidays only if the municipality they are operating in passes a bylaw allowing it. Current exemptions, such as those for stores that operate with less than four employees, will remain in place. Shopping restrictions on Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Canada Day, Labour Day, Remembrance Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day will also remain the same.
More information on the legislation is available at www.manitoba.ca/labour/standards.