HUP Trade Sector Calls for Lifting Ban on Sunday Trading

By 16 May 2020

ZAGREB, May 16, 2020 - The Croatian Employers Association (HUP) Trade Sector has said that the ban on Sunday trading currently in force is not an appropriate measure to fight the coronavirus epidemic, calling on the competent ministries to allow shops to work on Sundays and holidays without the disinfection break now in force.

In a letter sent on Saturday to the ministries of economy and the interior the sector said that the ban on Sunday trading, which caused more customers to shop on other days in the week, notably Monday, Saturday and Friday, did not apply to other sectors such as personal services or the restaurant business and was therefore potentially unconstitutional.

Shop opening hours can and should be regulated exclusively by the Commerce Act and not by civil protection bodies such as the coronavirus crisis management team and the public health institute, the trade sector says in the letter.

It also notes that the ban on Sunday and holiday trading will lead to lay-offs due to the reduced number of working hours.

As for the disinfection break, it said that it causes negative reactions among customers because of queuing before and after the break, the sector says.

The national union of workers in the trade sector earlier welcomed the decision by the COVID-19 crisis response team to ban shopping on Sundays and holidays and asked the government to send to parliament amendments to the Commerce Act under fast-track procedure so they could be adopted before parliamentary elections.

As for lay-offs, the union said that the ban on Sunday trading would not make 15,000 people in the trade sector redundant but that rather there was a shortage of at least that many workers if they worked in line with the relevant regulations and collective agreements.

The union also noted that it was not in favour of a complete ban on Sunday trading but rather allowing the trade sector to choose a certain number of Sundays to work.