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
  • warehouses
  • 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.

General rule

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.

Exceptions

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
  • bakeries
  • news-stands with a limited surface area
  • souvenir shops
  • pharmacies
  • 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.

Penal Sanctions

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.