2019.04.23 17:58

Stricter regulations in sight after Lithuanian supermarkets stay open on Easter Sunday

Ramūnas Jakubauskas, BNS2019.04.23 17:58

Most Lithuanians enjoyed a three-day weekend over Easter, but not all. Some supermarket chains kept their shops open, and workers busy, on Easter Sunday, breaking an agreement that kept politicians from pushing with formal regulations.

This enraged some lawmakers who say that legislation on mandating work on public holidays is back on the table.

Tomas Tomilinas, a parliament member with the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union (LVŽS), told BNS that these chains “deceived both the authorities – the government and the parliament – and the trade unions”.

Tomilinas, who is on the Committee for Social Affairs and Labour, plans to bring back the proposal to ban retail chains from opening on public holidays and every fourth Sunday.

A draft amendment to the Labour Code calling for keeping retail shops closed on the last Sunday each month and on all the 13 official public holidays passed the first reading in the parliament last June.

The debate stalled after the country's major retail chains and trade unions reached a preliminary agreement last April to keep stores closed at least on Christmas and Easter.

All Norfa and Lidl supermarkets in Lithuania were closed on Easter Sunday. Rimi and most of Maxima outlets had shorter opening hours, but Iki supermarkets operated as usual.