Wondering how often supermarkets and other large shops will be closed in 2019? Here’s all the info you need on the next stage of the trading ban.
As most of us are familiar with now, the Sunday trading ban is the result of pressure from members of the Polish Catholic Church and the Solidarność trade union. It was voted into law by the Polish Parliament late last year.
Supermarkets and all other large shops cannot trade due to the new legislation. Petrol stations, convenience stores, florists, bakeries, post offices and newsagents can nonetheless remain open.
This year the ban applies on the two Sundays in the middle of the month. However In 2019 large shops will only be able to trade on the last Sunday of the month, while a total Sunday ban will be in place in 2020. The only exception to that rule will be in the fortnight before Christmas (or Easter depending on the calendar).
As has long been the case, the trading ban also applies on Polish public holidays. As a result, most shops will be closed for a total of 43 days in 2019. The ban will be most noticeable in the months of May, June and November, when it is to be in place 5 times.
It is also possible that the trading ban will be extended to prevent stores from staying open late on Saturday (and from carrying out logistic work in the early hours of Monday).
When the Sunday trading ban was introduced in March, some chain stores reacted by increasing their opening hours on Fridays and Saturdays. In order to prepare some stores for the start of the week, Biedronka even introduced nightshifts starting at 00.01 on Monday morning.
Solidarność were not amused by this change, and they have campaigned for the law to be amended to stop shops from operating between Saturday at 10pm and Monday at 5am. So far the law has not come to pass, but the trade union are unlikely to back down and will continue to lobby for the extension of the ban.
In 2019 the amount of Żabka shops open on Sundays will also significantly reduce. Since April of this year many of the convenience stores have been able to trade due to the fact they offer ‘postal services’ (as it is possible to pick up parcels at Żabka). However PiS have now closed this loophole.
This means that stores like Żabka will only open on Sundays if the owner or his/her immediate family are working there. If a family member is helping the owner of the shop or franchise, they must do so unpaid.
The changes come as a huge boost to petrol stations, who are set to benefit from the fact they will be one of the few shops that can trade on Sunday with no restrictions.