Poland: a return to Sunday shopping? Compromise proposal on shop opening hours

Polish2050 MPs submit to the Sejm a bill restoring two shopping Sundays a month. According to the project, work on Sunday would be entitled to double remuneration. This is a kind of compromise between full trade liberalization and a complete ban on Sunday trading.

supermarket met fruit en andere goederen
Beeld: ©Pexels

A draft bill prepared by Third Way MPs has been submitted to the Sejm, relaxing the current regulations. A new proposal that the first and third Sunday of the month will be working. The exception will be December, where there may be up to three trading Sundays.

"The proposed project will mean increased consumer freedom as to when and where to shop. There will be an increase in employment and income of people employed in trade. Guarantees of days off and weekends mean that a larger number of working days on Sundays will have a negligible impact on on the situation of employees and their families," stays in the justification for the bill.

The regulations assume that trade employees who work on Sundays are to be provided with:

  • 200% remuneration for work on Sunday,
  • an additional day off in the period of 6 calendar days preceding or following such a working Sunday,
  • at least 2 Sundays off work in a calendar month.

In favor

The Polish Council of Shopping Centers has been consistently supporting the possibility of trading on Sundays for eight years. According to this organization, there are many economic and social arguments for restoring shopping Sundays. For the trade sector, Sundays were the days of the highest turnover during the week. This translates into more employment and higher tax revenues.


However, trade unions are against these changes:

Trade workers should earn decent wages from Monday to Saturday so that they can spend Sundays after hard work resting with their families. It's not just employees who want this. Successive public opinion surveys show that there are many more supporters of maintaining the current restrictions on Sunday trading than opponents. The Third Way project is the implementation of the interests of international corporations who see Polish employees only as cheap labor - says Alfred Bujara, chairman of the Secretariat of National Trade, Banks and Insurance of NSZZ "Solidarność".

He points out one more important thing. – We conducted research which showed that 98% trade employees do not want to work on Sundays, even for additional pay. Besides, the 200% of the remuneration raises legal doubts. Granting one professional group such a special allowance for working on Sundays would probably be challenged as unequal treatment.

According to the employers themselves, there is currently a shortage of 200,000 employees in the trade sector which also raises question about the implementation of the proposal.

The head of the ministry, Agnieszka Dziemianowicz-Bąk, clearly stated the ministry is not working on a project limiting the ban on Sunday trading. She also assessed that Poles have become used to the fact that trading on Sundays does not take place on the same scale as before.

Market research

Since the introduction of restrictions in 2018, opponents of this solution have clearly prevailed. However, according to UCE Research, support for Sunday trading is weakening: 46% respondents are in favor of abolishing the ban on Sunday trading, and 44% support maintaining it. Never before has the difference between these antagonized groups been so small.

Source: Money.pl/ Business Insider/ Fakt