Sunday trading ban - exemptions from the ban and the consequences of violations

Service

From March 1, 2018, a partial ban on Sunday trading was introduced. Since then, when going shopping on Sunday, you should check whether there is a so-called shopping Sunday. Who is subject to the ban on trading on Sundays and public holidays, in what situations does this ban apply and what are the consequences of breaking it? - we explain below. This issue is regulated by the Act of January 10, 2018 on the restriction of trading on Sundays and public holidays and on certain other days (Journal of Laws of 2018, item 305).

In which facilities is there a ban?

The prohibition applies to commercial establishments, i.e. facilities where trade is conducted and activities related to trade are performed, if work in such an establishment is performed by employees or employees.

The legislator in Art. 3 sec. 1 point 1 of the aforementioned act lists a catalog of examples of commercial establishments which are banned from trading on Sundays and public holidays:

  • store,

  • stand,

  • stall,

  • wholesaler,

  • coal composition,

  • building materials warehouse,

  • department store,

  • mail-order house,

  • sales office.

As mentioned above, the ban on trading on Sundays and public holidays applies if work in such an establishment is performed by employees or employees. This means that the owner can personally serve the customers on Sunday. It should be emphasized that the notion of employees or employees should be understood not only as persons employed in a retail outlet, in accordance with the provisions of the Act of June 26, 1974 - Labor Code, on the basis of an employment contract, but also those who perform work on the basis of civil law contracts. On Sundays and public holidays, it is also forbidden to entrust work in trade free of charge.

What hours is the ban on trading on Sundays and public holidays?

The prohibition covers the performance of such work or activities by the employee or employed during the period of 24 consecutive hours falling, respectively, between 24:00 on Saturday and 24:00 on Sunday and between 24:00 on the day immediately preceding the holiday and 24:00 on the day of the holiday. holiday.

In which retail outlets does the ban apply?

Art. 6 of the aforementioned Act indicates a catalog of statutory exclusions relating to the prohibition in question. For example, we give you that you can trade on Sundays and public holidays:

  • at liquid fuel stations;

  • in commercial establishments where the main activity is flower trade;

  • in pharmacies and pharmacy outlets;

  • in commercial establishments where the main activity is trading in souvenirs or devotional items;

  • in commercial establishments where the main activity is trade in the press, public transport tickets, tobacco products, coupons for games of chance and mutual wagering;

  • at postal points of contact within the meaning of the Act of 23 November 2012 - Postal Law (Journal of Laws of 2017, item 1481 and of 2018, items 106 and 138);

  • in bakeries, confectioneries and ice cream parlors, the main activity of which is trade in bakery and confectionery products;

  • in commercial establishments where the predominant activity is catering.

The above-mentioned catalog of statutory exclusions also indicates commercial establishments in which trade is carried out by an entrepreneur who is a natural person only in person, on his own behalf and on his own account. This confirms that the store owner can personally serve the customers on Sunday.

Which Sundays are there a trading ban?

The act prohibiting trading on Sundays and public holidays and on certain other days (Journal of Laws, item 305) provides for a gradual limitation of the number of Sundays in which trading and performing work in trade will be allowed:

  1. until the end of 2018, the ban will not apply on the first and last Sunday of each month, as well as on the two consecutive Sundays preceding Christmas and on the Sunday preceding Easter.

  2. in 2019 - the ban will not apply on the last Sunday of each month, as well as on the two consecutive Sundays preceding Christmas and on the Sunday preceding Easter.

  3. from 2020 - the ban will not apply on the last Sunday of January, April, June and August of each subsequent calendar year, as well as on two consecutive Sundays before Christmas and on the Sunday preceding Easter.

No trade on holidays

In commercial establishments, the trade ban is also in force on December 24 and on the Saturday immediately preceding the first day of Easter - after 2 p.m.

Can an entrepreneur running a sole proprietorship use the help of family members on Sundays and public holidays?

As the Chief Inspector of the National Labor Inspectorate explained: “in such a case, using the occasional and free help of family members does not violate the provisions of the Act. However, these persons cannot be employees or employed by such an entrepreneur and perform paid work on other days of the week ”.

Does the exemption from the Sunday trading ban also apply to cases where the trade on weekdays is carried out by employees, and only on days prohibited by the trader?

The Chief Inspector of the National Labor Inspectorate confirmed that: “the provision of art. 6 sec. 1 paragraph 27 applies to entrepreneurs who are natural persons, who on Sundays and public holidays do not use the work of employees or employees and on these days only personally conduct trade. It is irrelevant whether on the other days - not covered by the trade ban - the trade is carried out by workers or employees. '

Ban on trading on Sundays and public holidays - consequences of violations

Entrusting work in trade or activities related to trade to an employee or employed on Sunday or December 24 and on the Saturday immediately preceding the first day of Easter after 2.00 p.m. is an offense with a fine of PLN 1,000 to PLN 100,000.

An employed person and a contract for the provision of services performed as part of business activity and the ban on Sunday trading

For an employed person, in accordance with the statutory definition contained in Art. 3 sec. 1 point 5 of the aforementioned Act, a natural person who performs work in a commercial establishment on the basis of civil law contracts, as well as a person assigned to perform temporary work in a commercial establishment on the basis of a civil law contract, in accordance with the provisions on the employment of temporary workers, should be recognized. As indicated in the jurisprudence, “there is also no doubt that T. O. and L. C. performing the activities of the seller on the basis of the contract for the provision of services concluded with the accused are the persons indicated in Art.3 point 5 of the Act of 10 January 2018 (employed persons), and the defendant's claim that due to their business activity they cannot be treated as natural persons but as "entrepreneurs" is completely wrong. There is also no doubt that contracts concluded between the accused and T. O. and L. C. (contract for the provision of services) should be included, similarly to the contract of mandate or for a specific work, to the category of civil law contracts, due to the fact that they are regulated by this law. In the opinion of the Court, the actions of the accused, consisting in entrusting the duties to the seller with the above-mentioned persons under a contract for the provision of services were intended to consciously circumvent the ban on trade introduced by the Act of January 10, 2018, and thus served to circumvent it ”(judgment of the District Court in Bartoszyce of May 28, 2018, I W 2067/18).