Act Prohibiting Retail Work On Sundays

Author:Mr Tamás Tercsák and Gábor Jagicza
Profession:Dentons
 
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As you have probably heard in the news, the new Act CII of 2014 on the prohibition of work on Sundays in the retail sector entered into force on March 15, 2015. It is less known that Act I of 2012 on the Labor Code has been amended in line with the above-mentioned Act which entered into force on April 1, 2015. In this legal alert we would like to inform our clients of the changes introduced by the new regulation and the rules regarding work on Sundays.

Act CII of 2014 on the prohibition of retail work on Sundays entered into force on March 15, 2015. The scope of this Act covers retail activities (not including service-providing activities related to the spending of free time and commercial activity) regardless of whether it is pursued permanently or occasionally at a permanent or a periodically changing location.

However the scope of the Act does not cover the opening hours of pharmacies, the opening hours of retail stores at international airports, railroads or bus stations, the opening hours of retail stores at penal institutions, health institutions and military facilities, commercial activity at local markets or that of producers, commercial activity at fairs, the opening hours of fuel stations, commercial tourism service providing activities, commercial accommodation activities, services supporting commercial activities, catering services or commercial activities alongside of cultural activities and bathing services.

Under the new regulation, retail stores may be kept open between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. on business days, and they must remain closed on Sundays and public holidays (general closing period). There are exceptions from the prohibition of work on Sundays, such as December 24 and 31 when retail stores may be kept open between the hours of 6 a.m. and 12 a.m. Further exceptions include the Sundays during Advent and one Sunday freely designated by the trading entity in each calendar year. If the owner notifies the relevant authority 15 days before the date he or she plans to keep the store open, the store may be kept open between the hours of 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The Act contains special exceptions regarding stores selling pastries and dairy products exclusively, or newspapers or flowers as well as stores operating inside sport facilities. According to such rules, the...

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