No trade on Sundays
On the first day of March new regulation came into effect in Poland. The new law introduces a ban on trade on two Sundays a month. With certain exceptions enumerated in the act on a ban on Sunday trade, trading outlets, from small corner shops to big malls will be forced to close on the seventh day of the week. It is not yet certain how Poles will react to the fact that they will not be able to shop when they want.
Polish stores will close on every second and third Sunday of the month except those before Christmas and Easter. Apart from that, all trade in Poland stops for bank holidays. Store employees on Christmas Eve will work only until 2 p.m. In 2020, the government plans to expand the ban to all Sundays.
Some people speculate the new law will hit the retail industry and the millions of people who work in services, not only shop assistants but also cleaners and security personnel. Opponents of the ban say the new law is not entrepreneur-friendly and argue the new legal act is in numerous places unclear and has many loopholes. Government officials are certain the drop of sales on Sundays will be compensated with better sales figures on Fridays and Saturdays.
There are numerous exemptions to the “no trade” rule. Petrol stations will stay open, and so will shops at airports, train and bus stations, bakeries, cake shops, and even flower shops. A shop owner forcing an employee to work on Sundays faces a penalty ticket in the amount reaching up to 5 thousand PLN. However, they are allowed to work behind a counter themselves.
It is not yet clear how Polish people will react to the ban. When similar regulations were introduced in Hungary, the lawmakers quickly backed out as Hungarians were not happy about the restrictions. Polish politicians already agreed that they are ready to amend the act if needs be.