Survey: Overwhelming majority of Croatians oppose working on Sundays

Source: N1

A staggering 84 percent of Croatians said they would be in favour of abolishing work on Sundays for retailers, showed a survey conducted by the job-seeking website on a sample of more than 3,000 respondents.

Those in favour of abolishing work on Sundays said that the ban should not only be limited to those working in retail stores, but also to workers in the hospitality sector.

About 15 percent of those surveyed said they were against abolishing work on Sundays for the retail sector, saying that the decision should be left up to storekeepers themselves. However, they also said but that working on Sundays should be paid more than it currently is.

Only one percent of those surveyed did not have a clear opinion on the issue.

The question of whether Croatia should abolish work on Sundays in the retail sector came to the spotlight in December, when the government announced they would amend the labour law in the first half of 2020 to limit work on Sundays to several Sundays a year.

“I can confirm we are looking to the Austrian model – right now we are talking about how many Sundays should the employers be allowed to define as working days,” Economy Minister Darko Horvat told the public broadcaster, HRT, at the time. “After closely analysing the situation over the past six months and contacting all EU countries, we reached an interesting conclusion – the revenues earned on Sundays are much lower than people think.”

This is the third attempt by the government to regulate work on Sundays in the last 16 years. Both previous attempts, first in 2004, and second in 2009, were struck down by the Constitutional Court, which said that the ban could not be seen as a way to protect workers’ rights.

The government’s announcement was met with mixed reactions. While the unions applauded the proposal, saying the workers would benefit from the new law, the leading shopping centres said it would harm the economy.

Denis Cupic, board member of Westgate, the largest shopping centre in the EU, and Slobodan Skolnik, CEO of Emmezeta, the second largest furniture retailer in Croatia, warned that the government analysis is incorrect and that the new law would mean people would switch to shopping from foreign online stores, which would negatively affect the state budget, Poslovni Dnevnik reported in December.