The government wants to tighten the retail ban
Only a few months has passed since the government introduced a retail ban, but the lawmakers already see room for improvements. It has been announced they are working on ways to even further restrict the regulation that prevents shops and stores in Poland from opening on Sundays and bank holidays and certain other days. As experts indicate, the provisions that are already in place have many loopholes and it is not uncommon for retail chains to try to outsmart the government.
The act on limiting trade on Sundays includes an extensive list of businesses that are exempted from the ban, such as petrol stations, flower shops or pharmacies. On the list there are also post offices and it is this that the lawmakers want to focus on. In the updated version of the ban act, the exemption will apply to businesses whose predominant business activity are postal services.
This will eliminate shops who cooperate with courier firms and allow customers to pick up packages at their locations. Soon, the list of exemptions will not include selling cigarettes and other tobacco products, as a lot of small grocery shops have them in their offer. There are also some clarifications with regard to the employment of family members on Sundays and bank holidays.
The bank on retail trade was initiated by labour unions who argue that the existence of the bank does not mean it will be impossible to go shopping on the seventh day of the week. Some shops, i.e. those where it is the owner who stands behind the counter, can be opened.
Polish Organisation of Trade and Distribution voices their frustration at the government actions. The body calls the proposed amendments a misunderstanding, patching of bad law and limiting the freedom of economic activity.
From January 2019, three out of four Sundays in a given month will be no-trade days.