Zoltán Karsai, the chairman of the Trade Union of Commercial Employees (KASZ), spoke about the idea yesterday. He said that opening hours should be reduced in Hungary because of the labour shortage affecting the retail sector. As a result, all shops should close at noon every Sunday.
Index.hu reported about Karsai’s announcement today. He wrote that the sector has been struggling with labour shortage even though employers continuously try to attract new employees with multiple methods. Despite all efforts, they cannot hire the needed number of people. Therefore, the KASZ suggested the reduction of opening hours in Hungary.
As a result, companies would be able to fill the busiest periods with the required workforce. Thanks to that, service quality could be improved, and firms would be able to reduce the workload on the individual employees, he added.
Therefore, the trade union would like to reduce the opening hours and close shops at noon every Sunday. KASZ believes such a regulation would be beneficial for the employees’ work and private life balance and indirectly every people. Firstly, they will start negotiations with other trade unions of the sector’s workers. They regard it as their final goal to create a regulation applying to all sector employees.
Interestingly, between 15 March 2015 and 23 April 2016, the government banned almost all shops and malls to open on Sundays. The initiative came from the Christian Democratic Party, Fidesz’s ally, and affected all shops having a floor area reaching 400 square metres. The idea behind the legislature was to give a rest day for families. The trade volume of the big chains decreased (most of them are multinational). Meanwhile, the (mostly Hungarian-owned) smaller shops got additional revenue.
There were, of course, exceptions: tobacco shops, pharmacies, fuel stations, drugstores and newsvendors. Moreover, bakeries could remain open but only until noon.
Opposition parties and NGOs tried to abolish the law but were unsuccessful until 2015 November, when a referendum question passed. As a result, the government abolished the ban in April 2016.
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Source: index.hu, wikipedia
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