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Slovenia Business Week no. 35: Parliament Confirms Sunday Opening Hours

MPs backed amendments to the trade act, which transfer the decision on Sunday opening hours for all shops from the act onto the sectoral collective bargaining agreement, which has already been signed by the retailers and trade unions

MPs backed in an 58-9 vote on Thursday, 2 November amendments to the trade act, which transfer the decision on Sunday opening hours for all shops from the act onto the sectoral collective bargaining agreement, which has already been signed by the retailers and trade unions.  

According to Economy Minister Andrej Vizjak, the trade act amendments finally provide a long-sought solution to the issue of how to regulate opening hours.

Acknowledging that a solution tailored to the needs of all the stakeholders was impossible, Vizjak said that the agreement reached between the social partners - with the government acting as coordinator between the employees and employers - was the best way out of the quagmire.

In line with the agreement, workers are to receive a 100% wage bonus for working on Sundays. A 200% bonus is planned for several bank holidays, namely 1 January, 1 May (Labour Day), 1 November (All Saints' Day), 25 December and Easter Sunday.

The amendments furthermore stipulate that when deciding on whether to remain open on Sundays and bank holidays, employers need to consider the number of employees and their rights.

Most shops were forced to close on Sundays after parliament in December 2005 put into law the 2003 referendum at which it was decided that shops should remain closed.

Only shops selling essential goods were allowed to open for up to ten Sundays a year. There were exemptions for shops smaller than 200 sq. metres at petrol stations, town centres, marinas, camping sites, spas, hospitals, hotels, airports, border crossings, train and bus stations.

The restriction was short-lived, as the Constitutional Court on 14 February this year granted a request by retailer Emona Obala's for a stay of the provisions pending a final ruling on the matter.

Since then shops selling essential goods as defined in a special regulation were allowed to open freely on Sundays, while all others have been closed.

Source: Slovenian Press Agency STA

Author: STA, Slovenian National Press Agency