Work on a ban on Sunday trade under way
Polish legislators are working hard preparing a new bill introducing a ban on Sunday trade. In short, policymakers want to close most of shops, stores, supermarkets or malls. The initiative was brought forward by “Solidarity” labour union, who demand free Sundays for all people employed in trade. Sundays should be time for family, not work, they argue. The changes are also looked favourably upon by the Catholic Church. Hierarchs believe working on Sunday is a sin and a blow to family life.
Although “Solidarity” demands all Sundays to be trade-free, the government has recently announced they are rather opting for a 50-50 option: two Sundays a month are to be free to trade plus some additional days before Christmas and Easter. In this way, policymakers will have a chance to observe how the ban is affecting the economy and how Poles react to closed stores. A similar ban was introduced in Hungary. However, it was soon revoked as Hungarians didn’t like it, even though the Hungarian economy didn’t suffer after the new law was introduced.
According to the project in its current form, doing shopping on Sundays will be difficult, but not impossible. There are several types of entities that will be exempted from the trade ban. First of all, shops run by their owners, without extra personnel, will stay open. The same goes for petrol stations, flower shops, tourist shops, and drugstores. Small shops at such places as hospitals, prisons, train and bus stations, airports or hotels will be exempted from the ban as well. Understandably, online stores will not need to close their websites.
The bill “on limiting trade on Sundays and holidays and some other days” will introduce financial penalties for breaking its provisions. Store owners trading on Sundays will face a fine in the amount ranging from one thousand to 100 thousand PLN.
The new law is expected to come into effect in January 2018.