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Employees (Hours Of Work)

Volume 87: debated on Monday 18 November 1985

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asked the hon. Member for Wokingham, as representing the Church Commissioners, what are the normal hours of work of employees of the Church Commissioners; and if he will make a statement.

I am not surprised that the Church Commissioners are working from Monday to Friday and doing only 41 hours, and I am relieved that they do not yet have to work on Sundays. Does my hon. Friend agree that there is a double standard in operation when the Church Commissioners' assets committee invests £240 million in new shopping centres in Glasgow, Bury St. Edmunds, Ipswich and other areas, and supports several leading shopping chains, such as Mothercare and Habitat, which want to open on Sundays? Should not my hon. Friend, through the Church Commissioners, be encouraging them to stay shut on Sunday, the day of rest?

The Church Commissioners as such have not made any pronouncement on the matter, partly because they wanted to wait and see the terms of any Bill. However, my hon. Friend must not assume that they will necessarily continue to remain silent.