Germany and Austria, people have long continued the practice of closing on Sundays. This allows for employees to attend worship services and for quality time with family and friends. The law was proposed by the trade union, Solidarity, and found the support of the conservative and pro-Catholic ruling party. More than 90 per cent of Poles belong, have welcomed the change.
The new law at first bans trade two Sundays per month, but steps it up to three Sundays in 2019 and finally all Sundays in 2020, except for seven exceptions before the Easter and Christmas holidays.
According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the average Polish employee worked 1,928 hours in 2016.
There are some exceptions to the ban; gas stations, cafes, ice cream parlours, pharmacies and some other businesses are allowed to keep operating Sundays. Stores at airports and train stations will also be allowed to open, but only on the condition that only the owners themselves work. Anyone infringing the new rules faces a fine of up to 100,000 zlotys ($29,500), while repeat offenders may face a prison sentence.