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Opening times…

Opening Times (Pentecost 2017)

There is a quite noisy discussion going on in Germany right now, because christmas eve is a Sunday, and there is a limited number of Sunday shop openings in Germany. For Berlin, the list is here, and christmas eve is not on the list, elsewhere it is.

I am pretty confident that my supermarket will be open on December, 24, and of course on December, 26. It was open on Whit Monday this year, as shown above. Germany is weird (by law, GG 140 -> Art 139 Weimarer Verfassung).

The regular opening times in my villages supermarket look like this.
Published inAls Deutscher in den Niederlanden


  1. The supermarket closest by is open 365 days a year:

    They do this by employing a mix of people from different backgrounds so that they be open on the days of religious importance for each group, as on each of those days someone from a different background can cover.

    Similar for the waste collectors too: they collect during Easter and Christmas, and also during Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.

    • Rudolf Polzer

      Counterpoint: in the USA you can see how the lack of “reserved times” increases worker exploitation – when a critical mass of workers is willing to work e.g. 12 hours 7 days, economic pressure (e.g. via housing costs) will lead to everyone having to work such times (as opposed to e.g. the 40 hours week in Germany) – even if working long hours is “purely voluntary” as far as the employer is concerned.

      A solution for both issues could however be a strictly enforced work week length combined with full flexibility on how to distribute the time. Plus maybe some extra rules to protect religious views, such as “up to 20% of the year may be reserved for religious reasons and can not be infringed – of course, such religious needs need to be submitted in advance by the employee”.

      Why 20%? Well, all sundays (or sabbaths) together are about 14%. Plus “some more” to account for a few special holidays or similar. Of course, if Pastafarians then declare that no work must be done during the time from to 12:12pm to 5:00pm (but OTOH sundays and holidays are OK) because this is the proper time to prepare lasagna, this of course has to be respected as well. Wonder how that would pan out :)

  2. I don’t work in retail so I’m just an innocent bystander in this discussion.
    Sure – shops open whenever you want to buy something is very convenient.

    I’ve no real numbers and I don’t know if the exploitation is real, but I do assume working in a supermarket full-time can be a not-awesome job most of the time, also you’re replaced easily. I do assume when shops are open until 22:00 and on Sundays, there won’t be new people flocking to the supermarkets and fill those new times – I am pretty sure that the existing staff has to work even worse times. So how much do I gain from shops being more open? Hardly anything. What do they lose? Probably their free Sunday and evenings. Only speculation, but I don’t have a problem with our Bavarian opening times. (Mon-Sat 6 – 20 afaik, mostly 7-20 though).

    • Sammy

      I can tell you, it felt strange to come back to Germany for vacation on a Saturday late afternoon/early evening but not prepared in mind on this. Because of we have booked a vacation apartment there was no hotel kitchen to cover the Sunday morning breakfast, that’s why we have had to run fast to the nearest supermarkt to buy the basics in the end. Not that kind of vacation’s begin I prefer.

      Yes, it maybe not comfortable under German administration to work in a supermarket. But on the other hand, strengthen the unions and bring back the power they’ve had, then you could have rules for work which feels more social as the now existing old ones.

      As described above, normally a good employees mix could cover that situation. But as long as the churches have a lot of influence on working rules and the country is not a real secular one, you will have problems all over the time with a more or less big part of the people living there.

  3. Long answer short: I think traditional holidays of a country should be respected and not replaced by some “but others could work, because they don’t cherish that days…” rules., just to satisfy people not willing to plan some days ahead.

  4. Why not declare all days as workdays for everyone? So we all have the same perspective on that?

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