Fact Sheet


Sunday and Holiday Shopping Hours


The Retail Businesses Holiday Closing Act sets out the hours most retail businesses can be open on Sundays, general holidays and other days such as Easter Sunday and Remembrance Day.





What are Sunday shopping hours?

Shopping hours on Sunday are allowed for any period between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. in municipalities that have passed a new by-law on or after August 1, 2012.


What retail businesses can be open on Sundays and general holidays without a by-law?

The following types of retail businesses can be open: 

  • Businesses that ordinarily operate with four or less employees (including the owner)
  • Restaurants
  • Pharmacies
  • Laundromats
  • Boat and motor vehicle rental, repair and service shops
  • Places with educational, recreational or amusement purposes
  • Tourism and recreational facilities including summer resorts
  • Other retailers selling nursery stock, flowers, garden supplies and accessories, fresh fruit and vegetables, and gasoline and related goods for motor vehicles 

Municipalities can pass a by-law to allow shopping on Sundays and some general holidays at retail businesses not listed. These businesses can be open Sunday shopping hours on Louis Riel Day, Victoria Day, and Thanksgiving Day.

Unless a retail business is included on the above list, it cannot be open on the following days: New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Canada Day, Labour Day or Christmas Day. 

Remembrance Day is not a general holiday. Retail businesses cannot be open between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. on Remembrance Day. More information is available on the Remembrance Day fact sheet.


What is a retail business?

Most businesses that sell goods or services are considered retail businesses. This includes trades people and employees of professional services, rental companies, arenas, and businesses charging admission to performances such as movies, concerts, theatre, exhibits, and sporting events. 


Which municipalities have Sunday shopping by-laws?

Municipalities with a by-law allowing Sunday shopping include Brandon, Portage la Prairie, Thompson, and Winnipeg. You can contact your municipal office or town hall to find out if there is a by-law within your municipality. 


Do municipalities that have a by-law require all stores to open on Sundays?

No. Even if a municipality has a by-law in place, each business owner can decide to be open or closed.


What happens if there is an existing by-law when the new laws come into effect?

The by-law currently in place will remain in place until a new by-law has been passed to allow the new shopping hours.

For example, if the current by-law states retail businesses can be open noon to 6:00 pm, the municipality must pass a new by-law to allow businesses to be open earlier than noon.


What if Boxing Day falls on a Sunday?

If a municipality has a by-law in place, retail businesses may be open at any time on Boxing Day when it falls on a Sunday.


Can an employee in a retail business refuse to work on Sunday?

Yes. Employees of retail businesses where more than four persons (including the owner) are employed, have the right to refuse work on a Sunday. They must give their employer at least 14 days' notice.


Are there protections in place for retail employees who refuse to work on a Sunday?

Employment Standards may order employers to pay compensation or reinstate employees who are terminated or otherwise discriminated against for exercising the right to refuse work on Sunday.


Do retail employees get a day off per week?

Most employees are entitled to a rest period of no less than 24 consecutive hours each week, including retail workers. 


When November 11 falls on a Sunday, what rules do stores need to follow on Remembrance Day?

When Remembrance Day is a Sunday, retail businesses must follow both the Remembrance Day legislation and the Sunday Shopping legislation. Therefore, in municipalities that allow Sunday shopping, retail businesses must restrict their opening hours to between 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. on Remembrance Day.


When Remembrance Day falls on a Sunday, do employees of retail businesses have the right to refuse work?

Yes. Like any other Sunday, retail employees have the right to refuse work as long as they provide 14 days’ notice to their employer.

Employment Standards may order the employer to pay compensation or reinstate an employee who is terminated or otherwise discriminated against for exercising the right to refuse work on a Sunday.


Can employees of retail businesses refuse to work on Remembrance Day if it falls on any other day of the week?

Employees have the right to refuse to work Remembrance Day regardless of what day of the week it falls as long as they provide 14 days’ notice to their employer. 


For more information contact Employment Standards:

Phone:     204-945-3352 or toll free in Canada 1-800-821-4307

Fax:           204-948-3046

E-mail:     employmentstandards@gov.mb.ca

Website:  www.manitoba.ca/labour/standards

This is a general overview and the information used is subject to change. For detailed information, please refer to current legislation including The Employment Standards Code, The Construction Industry Wages Act , The Worker Recruitment and Protection Act, or contact Employment Standards.


Available in alternate formats
upon request.


Date Published: June 15, 2017