We gained the trust of 51 888 companies with 575 129 employees

What's new

Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers on Sunday trade in Europe: Polish regulations extremely restrictive

Warsaw, 19th February 2019


Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers on Sunday trade in Europe:
Polish regulations extremely restrictive


Free trade on Sunday rather than any restrictions is the standard in Europe, and Polish regulations in this area, in the target shape, are extremely restrictive – these are the most rudimentary conclusions from the report by the Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers on trade on Sundays in Europe.

The postulates of limiting trade on Sundays are in Poland nothing new under the sun. This topic would come back every now and then to the public debate over the last several years, but it did not materialise in the form of specific provisions until November 2017, when the law on limiting trade on Sunday was passed.

“From the very beginning, the Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers was critical about the draft law limiting trade on Sunday,” says Marcin Nowacki, vice-president of the Union. “We pointed out that such a sectoral form of regulation would in no way serve the majority of employees. We also emphasised that it certainly would not help small shop owners, but rather the opposite, meaning it would lead to a wave of bankruptcies. Today we see that we were right.”

Regardless of the views on the regulations in force since March 2018, it should be noted that the supporters of these restrictions often refer in their argumentation to examples of other countries in the European Union where allegedly analogous provisions apply. Meanwhile, the Polish legislator, limiting trade on Sunday, decided to take a course directly opposite to European trends.

“One must stress the fact that most European Union member states do not restrict trade on Sundays in any way,” said Katarzyna Włodarczyk-Niemyjska, director of the Law and Legislation Department of the Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers. “Those countries that had decided to introduce such restrictions, did so a long time ago, in completely different socio-economic conditions and generally are now withdrawing from this solution and liberalising the law. In turn, Hungary, which decided to undertake such an experiment relatively recently, immediately, because after only one year of the new regulations being in force, returned to free Sunday trade.”

At the same time, the Union’s experts point out that the minority of countries – that decided to limit trade on Sundays – introduced a variety of solutions. The almost total ban, which is to be in force in Poland from 2020 on, is a negative phenomenon on a European scale. It turns out that the legal landscape in the area of limiting trade on Sundays is much more complex than the simple dichotomy: “total ban” or “total freedom”.

“In the case of countries that restrict trade on Sunday, the standard from which basically only Poland breaks out is to use a variety of mechanisms mitigating the negative effects of such regulations,” says Jakub Bińkowski, secretary at the Department of Law and Legislation of the Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers. “Amongst these solutions, one can name, for instance, particular zones where trade on Sunday is allowed, the transfer of certain competences in this regard to local governments or extensive subjective exclusions relating, for example, to the store’s area.”

Spanish solutions constitute a series of interesting examples implemented to mitigate the risk arising from restricting trade on Sundays, as they combine all of the above-mentioned mechanisms. The Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers consistently postulates the withdrawal from the Sunday trading ban and replacing it with a Labour Code guarantee of two free Sundays a month for all full-time employees. This way, all sectors of the economy will be able to function normally on all days, while achieving the basic goal of the act on restricting trade on Sunday.


Fot. TheAndrasBarta/

Najnowsze artykuły

Position of the Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers on the draft state budget for 2020

The draft budget act for the year 2020 is definitely a historical project. For the first time after 1989, the government proposed a balanced budget, i.e. one in which the sum of revenues is equal to the sum of expenses. The lack of a planned budget deficit is an unprecedented phenomenon that should be assessed definitely positively. Thus far, a deficit amounting to tens of billions of zlotys was an almost certain element of every subsequent state budget. It is admirable, therefore, that with such extensive social policy, the government managed to balance revenues and expenses.

The Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers evaluates positively – THE ACTIONS OF THE LAW AND JUSTICE GOVERNMENT IN TERMS OF ECONOMY IN THE PREVIOUS TERM

The last four years were a time of unprecedented development for the Polish economy – largely due to the fantastic economic situation in Europe, but one cannot deny the government certain successes of their own. We positively evaluate the actions undertaken by the Law and Justice government in terms of the economy – these are the basic conclusions from the report of the Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers published today.

Entrepreneurs’ evaluation: raising the minimum wage has the greatest impact on business operations

The Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers together with Maison & Partners asked Polish entrepreneurs what their evaluation of the government’s individual actions is and how these actions affect their businesses. Entrepreneurs declare that it is the increase in the minimum wage what will among other things impact their businesses the most. At the same time, the government’s actions in this area are among the worst rated. Most importantly, the study was conducted before the ruling party, Law and Justice, made its plans regarding the increase public.


If you want to receive weekly information from Brussels
Click here

Become a ZPP Member!

Join us!

By giving your email address, you grant permission to the ZPP to send you information

Our websites

Our newsletters