Prohibition on trading and working on Sundays and holidays
The Act of 10 January 2018 on limitation of trade on Sundays and holidays and some other days (Dz.U. item 305 of 2018) has set new rules of functioning of commercial sites in Poland.
Ultimately, trading and performing trade-related activities as well as entrusting employees or engaged individuals with performance of trading work and performance of trade-related activities at commercial sites have been prohibited on Sundays and holidays.
A commercial site is a site where trading is conducted and trade-related activities are performed, in particular: a shop, stand, stall, wholesale warehouse, coal yard, construction material depot, shopping centre, mail-order company, sales office – if at such a place work is performed by employees (including temporary employees) or individuals engaged under a civil-law contract (including temporary contractors).
The prohibition is in place during 24 consecutive hours from 12.00 a.m. on Saturday to 12.00 a.m. on Sunday and from 12.00 a.m. on a day directly preceding a holiday and 12.00 a.m. on a holiday, respectively.
Delegating performance of trading work or trade-related activities gratuitously at commercial sites on Sundays and on holidays, as well as on 24 December and Saturday directly preceding the first day of Easter is absolutely prohibited.
In the interim period from 01.03.2018 to 31.12.2018 work at commercial sites will be permitted on the first and on the last Sunday of the calendar month (unless it is a holiday), and in 2019 - only on the last Sunday of the month – provided that it does not overlap with a holiday.
Starting from 2020 the prohibition will apply (with certain exceptions) to all Sundays of the month.
The Act provides that the prohibition on trading and working in trade on Sundays and holidays is not applicable on days of particular significance to businessmen and other individuals before important holidays. Work in trade will be permitted on two consecutive Sundays preceding the first day of Christmas, on Sunday directly preceding the first day of Easter and the last Sunday in January, April, June and August, if it is not a holiday.
Apart from that, the Act indicates entities to which the prohibition on trading and trade-related activities on Sunday and holidays does not apply. These are, e.g. liquid fuel stations, pharmacies and limited service pharmacies, sites where prevailing activity consists in trading in flowers or souvenirs and devotional articles, or healthcare facilities for animals.
Additionally, it is also worth to note that on 24 December and on Saturday directly preceding the first day of Easter trading and performance of trade-related activities, as well as entrusting employees or engaged individuals with trading work or performance of trade-related activities at commercial sites after 2.00 p.m. is prohibited, with the exception of entities to whom the prohibition does not apply.
The employee retains their right to remuneration for the non-working time resulting from the decreased amount of their working time due performance of work on 24 December or Saturday directly preceding the first day of Easter by 2.00. Such remuneration is calculated according to the rules applicable to calculation of remuneration for holiday leave.
Violation of the prohibition on trading and work is subject to a fine under the Act amounting to between PLN 1,000 and PLN 100,000. Judgments in such cases will be passed based on the Petty Offences Procedure Code.
Moreover, the labour inspector may control observance of the provisions of the Act by a commercial site at any time, day or night, without prior notice.
If a businessman is twice punished for the said offences and commits them again within 2 years following the date of the last punishment, as part of the fine-imposing procedure the labour inspector will be able to impose a fine of up to PLN 5,000.
Malicious and persistent violations of the provisions concerning the prohibition on trading and work at commercial sites on Sundays and holidays, as well as on 24 December and the Holy Saturday are penalized by the Criminal Code and subject to a fine or imprisonment.
Director of Personnel Department