Would Spending Habits Change if Croatian Sunday Work Ban Came to Be?

Lauren Simmonds

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As Poslovni Dnevnik/VL/Ivica Beti writes, one third of all Croatian families have at least one member who works at least occasionally on Sundays. 41% of all employees have experience with working on Sundays, and 60% of respondents said that they would mind if a member of the immediate family had to work on that so-called day of rest as well.

These are some of the findings of a survey of citizens’ attitudes towards work on Sundays and the potential Croatian Sunday work ban, which was conducted for the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development back in December 2020 by the Ipsos agency which asked 1,000 people over the age of 16.

The potential of someone in the family having to work on Sundays, even if properly paid for it, would represent a minor or indeed a major problem for a surprising 60% of Croatian respondents.

“One third of citizens would accept work on Sundays even if they were paid less, one third would do so only if they had to, and one third would not accept working on Sundays at all,” the results claimed.

When it comes to the amount of the hourly rate needing to be paid to an employee to work on a Sunday, 42% of the respondents think that it should be increased by 100%, and a quarter believe that it should increase by 50%. Slightly more than two-thirds of participants (71%) generally or completely support a bill that would regulate or limit work on Sundays and holidays.

Preferences about how a potential Croatian Sunday work ban should be regulated are very divided, however. 29% of the respondents think that stores should be left to choose for themselves whether to remain open on Sundays, 27% think that on Sundays all outlets should be completely closed, and the same amount think that with the exception of fuel stations, kiosks, bakeries and small shops that should be open until 12 noon, all other stores should be closed.

Croatian residents mostly see working on Sundays as a negative phenomenon imposed on workers, and believe that different regulation, more specifically the actual implementation of the now somwhat tired old subject of a Croatian Sunday work ban wouldn’t actually cause negative economic consequences.

As many as 83% of respondents believe that employers don’t pay their workers fairly enough to work on that day. 82% of respondents generally or completely agree with the statement that if the right to work on Sundays is abolished, nothing significant will change in terms of consumption.

Religious reasons are not a major factor in negative attitudes toward Sunday work for nearly two-thirds of respondents.

“This research provided us with additional insight into the understanding of citizens about the need for new regulations regarding work on Sundays. It showed that the proposed measure fully corresponds to the attitudes of citizens. It has been emphasised that the vast majority of people believe that nothing significant will change if the shops are closed on Sundays, and they believe that they will spend the same amount of money as they did before such a move,” said the Ministry of Economy.

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