Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.
Factsheet for measure SI-2020-20/1095 – Updated – measures in Slovenia
|Country||Slovenia , applies nationwide|
|Time period||Open ended, started on 13 May 2020|
|Type||Other initiatives or policies|
Protection of workers, adaptation of workplace
– Changes of working hours or work arrangements
|Author||Maja Breznik (University of Ljubljana) and Eurofound|
|Measure added||10 September 2020 (updated 16 October 2020)|
During the COVID-19 epidemic, all shops were closed on Sundays. The Trade Union of Workers in the Trade Sector (ZSSS-SDTS) tries to take this opportunity for a permanent closure of shops on Sundays. If realized, it would bring an end to a long-lasting public debate on the opening hours of shops on Sundays (for more information see the article ‘Slovenia: Social partners in favour of partial Sunday opening hours in retail’ . The debate began in 2003 with a referendum which led to a ban on Sunday shopping. However, the referendum decision was never carried out as retail companies’ appeal to the Constitutional Court managed to defer its implementation.
With the end of epidemics, the government lifted many restrictions on business activities, but a ban on Sunday shopping remained in place. The Trade Union of Workers in the Trade Sector (ZSSS-SDTS) launched a proposal to transform a temporary ban on Sunday shopping into a permanent one and, in this way, implement a public referendum’s decision from 2003.
On the initiative of a trade union, The Left party (Slov. Levica) gave a law amendment into the parliamentary procedure. The draft law seemingly had wide support among parliamentary deputies from the opposition as well as coalition parties. In the mid-July, the draft law successfully passed the discussion in the Parliamentary Committee for the Economy. Only the Modern Centre Party and the government spokesperson openly expressed their concerns that the draft law infringes the entrepreneurial freedom of retailers. However, the second parliamentary reading of the draft law showed that many deputies gave their support in bad faith.
In the name of retailers, unsatisfied with the continued prohibition on Sunday opening of shops, the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce appealed to the Constitutional Court. On the ground of this appeal, the government lifted restriction on Sunday opening on 23 July 2020. From then on, all shops are again open on Sundays.
The parliament will decide on the draft law in September 2020.
The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.
|12 October 2020||
On 29 September 2020, the parliament adopted the amended Trade Act with a great majority of votes. The act bans the opening of stores on Sundays. Exceptions are small shops on bus stations, hospitals and gas stations under the condition that proprietaries of shops perform services with the help of students and retirees. Some questioned the rule that retirees are allowed to work in shops during the epidemics, but it was nevertheless adopted by the parliament. The journal Dnevnik wrote that people’s will was finally implemented 17 years since the referendum.
The Trade Union of Workers in the Trade Sector (ZSSS-SDTS) and Centre for Social Research (Cedra) surveyed workers in the retail sector.
In a survey, commissioned by the government in October 2017, the opinion poll research company Ninamedia established that 80.5% of respondents support the closure of shops on Sundays. In July 2020, similar research showed that the percentage of supporters was even higher, 87%.
The trade union representative commented on government reopening of shops on Sunday as a ‘knife in the back of the labour class’.
|Applies to all workers||
Sector specific set of companies
||Does not apply to citizens|
No special funding required
Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:
|Trade unions||Employers' organisations|
|Role||Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative||No involvement|
|Form||Any other form of consultation, institutionalised (as stable working groups or committees) or informal||Not applicable|
Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:
The Trade Union of Workers in the Trade Sector (ZSSS-SDTS) launched a proposal to transform a temporary ban on Sunday shopping into a permanent one and, in this way, implement a public referendum’s decision from 2003. On the initiative of a trade union, The Left party (Slov. Levica) gave a law amendment into the parliamentary procedure.
The trade union representative commented on government reopening of shops on Sunday as a ‘knife in the back of the labour class’. Retailers and the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce on their behalf has a campaign against the draft law.
This case is sector-specific (only private sector)
|Economic area||Sector (NACE level 2)|
|G - Wholesale And Retail Trade; Repair Of Motor Vehicles And Motorcycles||G45 Wholesale and retail trade and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles|
|G46 Wholesale trade, except of motor vehicles and motorcycles|
|G47 Retail trade, except of motor vehicles and motorcycles|
This case is not occupation-specific.
Eurofound (2020), Trade union initiative for a complete closure of shops on Sunday, measure SI-2020-20/1095 (measures in Slovenia), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/SI-2020-20_1095.html
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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.