Poland’s lawmakers have approved a law that will phase out Sunday shopping by the year 2020, as the government pushes ahead with what it sees as a return to Roman Catholic values. The bill passed despite criticism that it may eliminate thousands of jobs.
The legislation, proposed by trade unions, passed by a vote of 254 to 156 on Friday, will gradually phase out shopping on Sundays in order to provide workers with a day of rest and allowing more time to spend with their families.
The law will limit Sunday shopping to the first and last Sunday of the month from March 1 until the end of 2018; only on the last Sunday in the month in 2019; and to ban it completely, starting in 2020. There will be some exceptions that will allow Sunday shopping, like Christmas and Easter. Also, online shops and bakeries are to be exempted from the ban.
The bill must now be signed into law by the Polish parliament and president Andrzej Duda.
Critics say it would negatively affect Poland’s economy, eliminating tens of thousands of jobs, and hurt supermarket chains, which are mostly western.