President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic said on Monday that she supported an initiative to for non-working Sunday, announcing that she would ask the relevant ministry to consider the proposal to adopt legislation that would protect workers and assist families.
After the president receives representatives of the Croatian Sunday Alliance in her office, one of the representatives for the alliance and former MEP, Marijana Petir underscored that Sunday was family time.
She presented findings of a survey showing citizens see Sunday as family time which is why they ask for non-working Sundays. The survey conducted earlier this year show that 82 percent of Croatians support the introduction of a work-free Sunday in all stores in Croatia. The survey covered 1,000 respondents.
The biggest problem, she added, was seen in the retail sector where the majority of workers are women who work non-stop and sometimes for several weeks without one day of rest and earn a minimum wage even though most retail chains owned by foreigners are closed on Sundays in their countries of origin.
The alliance president, Friar Bozo Vuleta, says that not only do stores that are open on Sundays fail to contribute to the economy, employers themselves have realised that due to the drain of the labour force, staying open on Sundays is not worth it and many of them are hopeful that legislation will be adopted banning work in the retail sector on Sunday. Some have even decided of their own accord not to work on Sundays.
"A new law would just reflect real needs and the will of almost two-thirds of Croatian citizens, Vuleta said.
The leader of the retail segment in the SSSH trade union federation, Zlatica Stulic, confirmed that there was no need for stores to remain open 0 to 24 hours, 365 days of the year because the social damage of that work were far greater than economic benefit with regard to deterioration of workers' health.