Will there be more shopping Sundays? PiS and the Left against

Luc Williams

Petru criticizes the current regulations

Member of Parliament applicant Ryszard Petru emphasized that the current regulations governing Sunday trading are inconsistent because they provide for 32 exceptions, which are used by 10,000 stores, and Poles still shop on Sunday, paying more for their purchases. “We pay 40 percent more in stores that are open on this day. This is a tangible price for the ban on Sunday trading,” he pointed out.

As he pointed out, the 2018 law was supposed to make small shops develop, but since then 30,000 have gone bankrupt. shops. “The trade ban was intended to make Polish stores disappear and foreign chains to develop, because they have money to promote shopping on Saturday. If the supporters of the Sunday trade ban had good intentions, they would have banned trade without exceptions,” he said.

According to Petru, the ban on Sunday trading led to the collapse of 30,000 businesses. local stores, and contributed to the development of retail chains. “In 2015, there were 3.6 thousand discount stores. In 2023, 5.4 thousand (…) In 2015, discount stores had 27 percent of the food market. Today it is 37 percent.” – he calculated.

Proposals to change regulations

In Petru's opinion, two shopping Sundays a month will increase the number of jobs in trade by 20,000, and the industry's annual turnover by PLN 20 billion. He added that the project provides for the protection of employee interests. “If the project is referred to the committee, we will organize large public consultations during which all voices will be heard,” he assured.

PiS and the Left reject the draft amendment to the act

Law and Justice voted in favor of rejecting the bill in the first reading. MP Jan Mosiński, presenting the position of the PiS club, pointed out that a compromise was reached in 2018, and the act currently in force limits, rather than bans, trading on Sundays. “Currently, a balance is maintained between the interests of consumers and trade entities,” he said. He added that social surveys show that the majority of Poles do not want to liberalize the law and increase the number of shopping Sundays. “The amendment destroys the accepted model and order that has been in place for 6 years (…) The project should end up in the trash and not be further processed,” he noted.

The Left took the same position. MP Arkadiusz Sikora, speaking on her behalf, noted that Sunday is for spending time with loved ones. “We should ban trading on all Sundays. (…) We should increase supervision over chains where workers' rights are violated,” he said.

As Sikora pointed out, trade is missing 300,000. employees, and people employed in this sector are overworked. The introduction of commercial Sundays will only deepen this problem. “In retail, 70 percent of employees are women, many of them young mothers. Where should they leave their children on Sundays?” – he asked rhetorically. According to Sikora, the project is socially harmful. On behalf of the club, he requested its rejection at first reading.

KO and Polska 2050 call for further work

Izabela Mrzygłocka, representing the KO club, was in favor of referring the project to further work in the committee. In her opinion, despite the passage of time, public opinion is divided on the Sunday trading ban. “The idea of ​​relaxing the regulations is a solution worth considering. We will gain knowledge to know what to do next: whether to abolish the ban or tighten the regulations. The KO Club proposes further work and discussions on this project,” she said.

The same position was taken by Polska 2050, on behalf of which Elżbieta Burkiewicz spoke. In her opinion, the government should not impose arbitrary bans that did not change the situation of small shops and turned out to be an inconvenience for many people. “Poles' pockets are being drained and legal loopholes are being exploited. (…) Our project is a step to ending this fiction,” she said.

The PSL-TD club, whose position was presented by Magdalena Sroka, also supported the committee's work on the proposals included in the project. She pointed out that the project expands employee rights and increases consumer choice.

The beneficial impact of the current Sunday trading restriction on small shops was questioned by Przemysław Wipler, acting on behalf of the Konfederacja club. “The chains of stores belonging to two large corporations were built on this ban,” he said. In his opinion, the current law has led to a “massacre of small shops”. Trade has become automated and many self-service stores without salespeople have been created. Sales via the app have also become popular. “It's done by corporations, not small shops. It can be done on Sunday. (…) You meant well, it turned out as usual,” he said, turning to PiS MPs. The Confederation supported further work on the project in the committee.

Position of Minister of Labor

The Minister of Labor also spoke during the debate Agnieszka Dziemianowicz-Bąk. According to the head of the ministry, neither consumers nor employees, and especially trade workers, want to increase the number of working Sundays. She added that entrepreneurs, both small and medium-sized as well as larger ones, do not want this either. “Interestingly, large chains that lack manpower do not want these changes at all. They already have to pay extra for Sundays, which are commercial,” Dziemianowicz-Bąk pointed out. In her opinion, only shopping malls are in favor of increasing the number of shopping Sundays. “Is their interest a significant social need? I think you can answer it yourself,” she said.

The vote on the motion to reject the bill in the first reading will take place at the next session of the Sejm.

Draft amendment to the act prohibiting trade on Sundays, they submitted at the end of March this year. envoys of Poland 2050. It provides for two shopping Sundays a month. For work on Sunday, the employee would be entitled to double remuneration, and the employer would be obliged to designate the employee a day off, from 6 days before to 6 days after the working day on Sunday.

Trading ban on Sundays

Act restricting trade on Sundays entered into force on March 1, 2018. It provides for a catalog of 32 exemptions. The trade ban does not include, among others: postal activity, if the revenues from this activity constitute at least 40 percent. revenues from the sale of a given facility. Moreover, it does not apply to confectioneries, ice cream parlors, liquid fuel stations, flower shops, newsagents or cafes. The penalty for breaking the Sunday trading ban is PLN 1,000 to PLN 100,000. PLN fine, and in case of persistent violation of the regulations – penalty of restriction of liberty.

From 2020, the trade ban does not apply only on seven Sundays a year: the last Sundays of January, April, June and August, as well as on the Sunday before Easter and on the next two Sundays before Christmas. (PAP)

author: Grzegorz Kacalski


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