July is usually the month when we celebrate the anniversary of joining the European Union (this year we celebrate the tenth anniversary) and the beginning of the high-season in tourism (although we have fewer crowds this year than last - allegedly due to soaring prices and a "negative campaign" in foreign media).
This year, July is also the month of yet another try to ban/restrict Sunday working hours for retailers (depending on which perspective you look at this phenomenon and whether you are a pessimist or an optimist).
Previous bans and restrictions of Sunday working regime were abolished by the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Croatia.
In this article, we will explain how this new regime is different from previous tried and failed concepts, and whether there is hope or danger (depending on the viewing perspective) that the said restrictions/prohibitions will be, once again, abolished by the Constitutional Court.
Retail stores opening hours.
The working hours of retail stores are determined by the merchant from Monday to Saturday for a total duration of up to 90 hours per week. These ninety working hours are distributed freely by the merchant within the framework of the working week. Therefore, these statutory provisions are regulating the working time schedule of the employees, but the working hours of the retail store. The employee working hours are determined by the Labor Law, taking into consideration that the employees must arrive early to prepare the store for opening, and have to stay after the store's opening hours for cleaning, paperwork, and etc. Of course, the employees work in shifts, and one employee does not work continuously throughout the store opening hours, unless the store has shorter opening hours.
Work on Sundays and public holidays
Work on Sundays and public holidays is generally prohibited.
However, the Government of the Republic of Croatia may, by decision, determine retailers that are obliged to work on public holidays in Croatia. It should be clarified that, for example, pharmacies are not regulated by the commerce law, but fall under another law and are subject to separate rules for determining their working hours.