Closed for Sundays: Des Kelly says his company has no plans for Sunday trading again

While tens of thousands of shoppers rush to find bargains in the post-Christmas sales, shopworkers are being forced to work this St Stephen's Day simply because of the "greed and lust for money" of their employers, according to carpet entrepreneur Des Kelly.

As many of the major department stores and retail outlets prepare to kick off their Christmas sales, Kelly said he believed workers should be given the day off to spend time with their families as has previously been the tradition.

Kelly, who two years ago decided to no longer allow Sunday opening for any of the 14 carpet and interiors shops which bear his name in Dublin, Kildare and Meath, said the fact that St Stephen's Day fell on a Sunday this year served only to highlight the lack of choice which many retail employees had.

"These employers have no respect whatsoever. It's a disgrace. It is just greed. And there is no need for it. Greed and lust for money is pushing the decision to open on St Stephen's Day. The shops just want to get all they can out of it, it's just lust and greed, " he said.

"Some people have no choice but to work on Sunday; it is a condition of their contract and is just another day, but I don't think it is fair on workers that this would be part of the conditions placed on them by employers, to make Sunday just another part of the week.

"It's a disgrace, and unfortunately the workers have no choice. Ask any worker and they will tell you they'd rather not have to work just after Christmas Day. They should still be enjoying time with their families; it is a very important time for families. Yet you have a husband or a wife leaving their kids to go out to work."

Kelly said his company was happy with the way trade had gone since it introduced the ban on Sunday trading in January 2008, but acknowledged that he was a "lone voice" when it came to making the case for this approach.

"I think it is only fair. The staff are happy. We might be losing a bit of money but in the long haul it is worth it. We're happy enough with the way it is going. The staff are really happy to have a day of rest. It is an awful day to be working, when you think about it. We have no intention of ever offering [Sunday trading] again. It's a day of rest, the Sabbath, a day for family. People are forgetting what Christmas is all about."