Fabian Demicoli

Shop Opening Hours – Vincent Farrugia Direttur Generali

 Every year where a public holiday occurs within the Easter holiday period, GRTU insists that shops are given the opportunity to open. Normally shop owners and especially retail employees object on opening on public holidays because of extra costs and especially since employees, particularly female workers with children, prefer like all other employees to stay with their families rather than having to cancel their personal plans and go to work.

This year this issue was particularly highlighted because of the launching of the new large investment in retail trade by The Point at Tigne`. The GRTU feels it would have been grossly unfair if certain establishments opened while others were not given the same opportunity.

GRTU would have preferred that the decision was taken with enough notice to all retailers but unfortunately with the change in Ministry's responsibilities there was some delay in the decision process. GRTU is however satisfied that all retailers have been given the opportunity to open on March 31st.

The shopping hours issue is a permanent hot issue as there is a strong lobby in favour of not opening as owners and employees have a right for their family days and it makes no sense for them that some family members are on leave while others are working and instead having their holidays on other days when every body else with the family is working. On the other hand there is also a retail lobby that, having invested heavily in the provision of new retail experiences for consumers, should not be restricted by any imposition by opening days and hours.

GRTU has over the years caused a change in the regulations that has effectively produced a much more liberal and less confirmative system that still applies in many other EU Member State.

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