Finland Times

Tuesday, 21 September, 2021
Home BUSINESSGovt moves to ease shops opening hours
Fri, 23 Oct, 2015 12:28:53 AM
FTimes Report, Oct 23

The government on Thursday decided to propose that the act on opening hours of retail stores, barber's and hairdresser's shops be repealed.

As a consequence, their opening hours will be deregulated. The change is intended to enter into force as soon as possible, said an official press release.

The right of small business owners operating in shopping centres or similar concentrations of shops to keep their shops closed on one day of the week would be an exception.

The provision on this issue will be moved to the Unfair Business Practices Act.

The provisions on opening hours of retail stores and barber's and hairdresser's shops are confusing and difficult to understand.

The permitted opening hours depend on, for example, the operating sector of the shop, the products on sale, the location of the shop, the floor area, the time of the day and the month.

The considerable number of exceptions, such as the 15 religious or other holidays in a year, add to the confusion and make more difficult to assess when retail services can be available.

Current regulation has led to certain forms of shops being favoured, which from the point of view of neutrality of competition and equality, is not justified.

Current regulations put shops of different types and sizes into an unequal position. The reform will also remove the obligation of shops and entrepreneurs in hairdressing business to apply repeatedly for special exemptions.

The objective of the proposal is to give entrepreneurs more freedom to decide themselves when to have their shops open.

Hence the reform would be an example of enabling regulation that is not based on orders and bans from the legislator but on a flexible operating practice that promotes business life and entrepreneurship.

The reform will improve the competitiveness of traditional shops in relation to online shops.

The reform is also expected to improve the ability of retail companies to employ new full-time and part-time employees, and to offer more working hours to their current employees.

At the same time, consumers' possibilities to shop at convenience in retail outlets would improve.

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