On 2 September, NSZZ Solidarność (a Polish trade union) submitted a draft bill to the Polish Parliament. The draft bill, which was introduced by a popular legislative initiative, proposes to prohibit trading on Sundays.
Who is concerned?
The draft bill introduces a general ban on trading on Sundays and restrictions on trading on Christmas Eve and Holy Saturday. The ban and the restrictions apply to the sales outlets listed in the draft:
- retail shops
- sales stands
- sales stalls
- coal sellers
- building supplies stores
- department stores
- mail order companies
- sales offices and
- online shops offering manufactured goods.
The draft act does not define “manufactured goods”. Thus, we expect that this term will require additional explanation at a later stage.
A similar ban is considered also in relations to warehouses and logistic centers.
Each Sunday, it would be prohibited to trade and perform other sales activities from 6 a.m. until 6 a.m. on the following day. On Christmas Eve and Holy Saturday, trading and performing other sales activities would be allowed, but only until 2 p.m.
There are some exceptions from the general rule, such as certain Sundays before Christmas and Easter and one Sunday during end-of-season sales.
The following are also exempt from the prohibition:
- sales outlets run by the owner
- petrol stations
- news-stands with a limited surface area
- souvenir shops
- sales points in hotels and hospitals, airports, railway stations, bus stations, on ships and ferries
- flower shops with a limited surface area
- online shops offering non-manufactured goods
- duty-free zones.
According to the draft, anyone who does not comply with the new law will be subject to a fine, limitation of freedom or imprisonment of up to two years.