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Government Denies Request to Repeal Sunday Shopping Ban

Gábor Sarnyai 2018.09.03.

The Commercial Workers Union (KDFSZ) asked PM Viktor Orbán to consider reinforcing the regulation banning shopping on Sundays. According to the proposal, shop closures would ease the burden of workforce shortages, help the function of small enterprises, and send a message to Europe: Hungary puts family values before profit-seeking.

Csaba Bubenkó, leader of KDFSZ, told Pro-government Magyar Idők that at least 10 thousand workers are missing from the industry, and, in these circumstances, customer and employee protection regulations can’t be ensured.

Despite the 50-60 percent wage rise in the recent years, the sector hasn’t become more popular among job seekers. Almost two-thirds of the 350 thousand workers in commerce are women, and the majority are mothers. The raises don’t compensate for the disadvantages of weekend shifts, the overtime, or the social and health risks of working in big supermarkets and their warehouses.

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The Union leader also mentions that other industries, such as tourism and car manufacturing, are luring workers away from supermarkets. He stated that it’s become clear that offering student positions doesn’t provide a long-term solution, as they tend to leave after summer ends. Bubenkó also added that customers have already pointed out a decrease in the quality of service.

The Hungarian Wire Service(MTI) asked the government about the proposal, and, according to their official answer, authorities aren’t planning to amend the law and don’t consider it to be an actual problem.


Most Hungarians opposed the legislation that banned Sunday opening for shops, but their voices were not considered when the ban was enacted on 15 March 2015. A year later, however, in April 2016, the Act was repealed within just 24 hours. This sudden reversal by the government and the parliament is widely believed to be linked to the fact that some days before, the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) had won the support of Hungary’s highest court for a referendum on the matter.

Hungarian Government Lifts Ban On Sunday Shopping To Avoid Referendum