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20 minutes – Do you really have to shop on Sundays?



A Migros take-off is close to Zurich's main train station and therefore also open on Sundays. But cantons consider this illegal, and the labor inspectorate has conducted an investigation.

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How often do you shop on Sundays?

Readers are divided: Some find all shops to be open on Sundays – others will feel better if Sunday at the station will be quiet. This is what legal experts, psychologists, and trade unions say about the reaction of readers:


Isn't it unfair that special rules apply at stations, restaurants or farm shops? In fact, there is a distortion of competition due to such regulations, said Patrick Krauskopf, law professor at ZHAW: "A shopping center at the station becomes a monopoly of geographically limited areas." to operate a branch. Actually economic interests have as few rules as possible, because then the market will be more oriented to customer needs. But to avoid side effects for employees – such as poor working hours or no regular family life – the law only allows Sunday sales when urgent needs can be proven.


Do you really have to shop on Sundays? At least there is a need there, said Bernhard Kolb, professor of law at United International Business School: "Look, what the majority of gas station customers buy on Sundays – especially food, not fuel." That's from a political point of view. Needs have been defined that people want to shop when it comes to mind. There are even efforts to loosen existing regulations. Business psychologist Christian Fichter of Kaleidos University of Applied Sciences sees this critically – always having all options open, freeing us from the need to plan: "In the end, we lose the ability to manage ourselves."


Why is it almost natural if the restaurant is open on Sundays? First, many restaurants on Sundays must, said Fichter: "Second, they offer performance that contributes precisely to the recovery of society." The world must indeed be maintained even though there is a sales ban on Sunday.


For many people, Sunday is a day like any other day – do you still need a day of rest? Yes, according to Unia: "It takes a day of rest to restore or pursue family or other social activities," said spokesman Leena Schmitter. It is important, according to professor of law Kolb, that employees know in advance for a long time when they are free. For many companies, employees are often called to work in a very short time. "It limits personal freedom," Kolb said.


Should employers not decide for themselves whether they want to be open on Sundays? "If the company itself can decide, it will quickly cause all shops to open on Sunday," Kolb said. Legal restrictions will protect workers. Psychologist Fichter also said: "Not everyone can decide for themselves how fast they drive a car." Some things can be adjusted more uniformly.


In some countries it is normal to be able to shop 24 hours a day. Will that also happen in Switzerland? "The direction is pointing here," Kolb said. But its development is very slow – especially because of labor law, the highest principle of health protection. Schmitter von der Unia considers permanent opening unnecessary: ​​"It doesn't need to be absolute to be able to shop seven days a week or have to work."


Do the authorities even dare to forbid large companies to open near the train station? "It cannot be ruled out that the authorities in large companies are rather blind," said Kolb. Corporations can build a lot of pressure, and especially in the legal gray field, the authorities have some leeway in legal interpretation. Whether the strength of the company in individual cases really has an impact, but you can only say if you know all the details correctly.


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