- According to estimates, 1,353 large retail outlets could be required to close on New Year's Day under the legislation potentially affecting an estimated 141,000 employees, roughly 61% of retail employment in Scotland – although this is an overestimate and it is likely that some staff may be required to work even if the store is not allowed to trade.
- The retail sector in Scotland has faced varying impacts from the Covid-19 pandemic as sectors faced different restrictions to contain the spread of the virus. Impacts differed across retail sub-sectors with non-essential retail stores (e.g. clothing) required to close for prolonged periods while essential retail (e.g. food) stores were able to trade throughout.
- The overall economic impact of restricting trade of large retail stores on New Year's Day is not expected to be significant when considering the possible options faced by consumers. Closing large retail stores, however, may have differing impacts on certain businesses, for example, those unable to trade online being disadvantaged.
- The campaign to close large retail stores on New Year's Day anticipates a wellbeing benefit of allowing employees to take 1 January as a holiday. The majority share of retail employees who responded to the Scottish Government's consultation were in favour of this, but it should be noted that some employees may still be required to work, not receive paid leave and some employees may be financially penalised as they can no longer access premium payments or overtime for working on New Year's Day. The benefits of additional time off over the festive period have been recognised by some retailers who have announced plans to close on Boxing Day.
- The retail sector generally performs below average in regards to some fair work metrics explored in this report such as employee pay. It is found that increased adoption of fair work principles leads to improved outcomes, such as improved mental wellbeing, reduced in-work poverty, increased real wage growth, and increased productivity.