The project to tighten the ban on Sunday trading was supported by the Parliamentary Social Policy and Family Committee. Amendments were introduced to it, including the extension of vacatio legis from 14 days to 3 months.
The Parliamentary Social Policy and Family Committee recommended on Tuesday after the first reading several amendments to the draft law tightening the ban on Sunday trading. Janusz Śniadek (PiS), the proposer of the bill, was among those who proposed amendments, who, inter alia, he proposed, at the request of the social side, to extend the vacatio legis to 3 months, which was initially set for 14 days.
Another amendment of the applicant approved by the committee is to clarify the issue of keeping records of activities that will be controlled by the National Labor Inspectorate. Moreover, the committee accepted the remarks of the legislative bureau, which were of an editorial and correction nature.
Sunday trading ban – changes to the act
As the MP said during the first reading of the bill, the act restricting trade on Sundays, which entered into force on March 1, 2018, turned out to be circumvented, which is why a draft of its sealing was created. – It has become a scourge and pathology to refer to postal activities by some entities in order to bypass the provisions of this act, most of which is fictitious – he pointed out.
He added that initially it was not a big problem, as long as the Żabka chain of stores used this trick, the problem arose when more and more large retail chains started to do so. – Today, about 20 retail chains are opening their stores using this gap, which is the highest pathology – he noted. “This pathology began to insult the dignity of the state,” he assessed.
He explained that according to the draft, the store will be able to operate on non-trading Sundays as a post office, provided that this type of activity will prevail for him, the revenues from it will actually exceed 50 percent. other income.
– An obligation to keep records will be introduced, showing what are the revenues from this predominant activity and which from the remaining ones – emphasized Śniadek. He added that the Labor Inspectorate will examine this register. As he pointed out, the project also introduces a new definition of predominant activity, the aim of which is to limit too frequent change of the main activity.
Moreover, the applicant MP indicated, referring to the analysis of the Ministry of Development and Entrepreneurship from 2019, that the beneficiaries of the Sunday trade restriction are also other industries, including tourist, restaurant, or broadly understood economy of free time.
Non-trading Sundays – opposition’s proposals
As the opposition deputies pointed out, the act that introduced the ban on Sunday trading was badly written from the beginning and is full of holes and is socially unacceptable. – That is why we will propose the removal of this ban with the statutory guarantee of a minimum of two free Sundays for employees in the trade – argued MP Piotr Borys (KO).
He reminded that there are bills on this matter, combining the needs of Poles who want to shop on Sundays and of sales workers.
Magdalena Biejat (Left), MP, pointed out that the Ombudsman for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises issued a positive opinion on the draft sealing the regulations on Sunday trade restriction.
In turn, MP (KO) Marzena Okła-Drewnowicz cited data from the Ministry of Development, which shows that in 2019 over 2,000 small grocery stores disappeared from Polish streets, in 2020 it was over 1,600, but in both these years there were more discounters and supermarkets. In her opinion, the ban on trading on Sundays caused Poles to start making large purchases in large retail chains on Fridays and Saturdays, and limited shopping in small shops, which is why they collapsed.
Ban on trading on Sundays
The act introducing a gradual ban on Sunday trading entered into force on March 1, 2018. From 2020, the trading ban does not apply only on seven Sundays a year. The act on the Sunday trading ban provides for a catalog of 32 exemptions. The prohibition does not include, inter alia, postal activities, does not apply to pastry shops, ice cream parlors, liquid fuel stations, flower shops, newspaper shops or cafes. For breaking the Sunday trading ban, the risk is from PLN 1,000 to PLN 100,000. PLN fine, and in the case of persistent violation of the Act – the penalty of restriction of liberty.
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