PM: Work-Free Sundays Necessary for Work-Life Balance

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The Croatian government is preparing amendments to the Commerce Act to regulate Sunday shopping days per year. The initiative is to restrict Sunday trading days to 16 in a year.

“Our initiative is not contrary to our plans to have a higher number of employees, ensure higher economic growth as well as to have social inclusivity,” Plenković told the press in front of the Porto congress hall where the EU Social Summit was held.

The draft amendments on regulating the number of Sunday shopping days per year were presented to junior partners in the ruling coalition last Thursday. Plenković said that the partners supported the initiative.

He also said that surveys and opinion polls had shown that most Croatians supported work-free Sundays.

I can’t see that this would cause any problem for companies that consider working Sundays as an important day for them. For instance, the trading volume is well distributed on the day before or the day after in other countries. This is something which other countries already have, and it functions, he added.

Retailers have no unified position on non-working Sunday 

In early 2020, the association of retail and wholesale traders within the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) said that it had not defined a unanimous position on Sunday trading; however, members of the association agreed those working on Sunday should be remunerated appropriately.

HGK noted then that there was no uniform stance on regulating Sunday trading; however, all traders agree that more care for workers is needed and that working on Sunday should be paid more. They recommend that the number of Sundays stores would be open during the year be restricted.

The president of the association, Ivica Katavic, who is at the helm of the supervisory board of the KTC supermarket chain, said then that KTC had decided to stay closed on Sundays. In the meantime, its turnover had increased.

In mid-May2020, the Pevex household and hardware retail chain called for Sunday trading to be regulated by law, adding that it advocates non-trading Sundays similar to Austria.

The Croatian Employers’ Association (HUP) said this past Friday, in a comment on the announced restriction of Sunday work in the retail sector, that retailers did not have a unified position on that. Still, they thought the pandemic was not a good moment for introducing any bans on work.

The pandemic is definitely not a good moment to ban work in any sense since retail still hasn’t recovered from the lockdown and drop in sales caused by restrictions, HUP said.

On Friday, the Lidl retail chain said responding to “Lidl Croatia is not in principle against the idea on work-free Sunday, having in mind the government’s initiative that envisages 16 Sunday shopping days a year.”

Lidl also called for adopting the necessary regulations to create equal conditions and fair competition in the retail sector.

For more, follow our lifestyle section.



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