Following a court case brought by a baker who complained that, although he was restricted by law from opening his shop before 06:00, a filling station was licenced to sell before that (and, in some cases, remain open 24 hours/day).
This, he argued, was amounted to unfair competition, so he took his case to the Administrative Court in Luxembourg; the court originally upheld his position, but the Ministry of Economy appealed the decision. Now the appeal has been heard and the court has ruled in favour of the bakery.
The Ministry of the Economy has issued a statement in which it states "Generally, all stores, including bakeries, can open from 06:00 to 20:00 on weekdays, once a week until 21:00 and on Saturdays until 19:00. Businesses that have a collective agreement can stay open until 20:00 on Saturdays. On Sundays, shops can open until 13:00, while bakeries can remain open until 18:00. On the other hand, petrol stations are exempted from the legal closing hours regime and are not subject to compulsory closing times."
The statement continued with "the Administrative Court has confirmed ... the first judgment according to which certain legal provisions relating to the regime of hours of closure are not in conformity with the Constitution. Thus, the situation is now clarified on the legal level. Consequently, the judgment entails the need to review certain terms of the amended law of 19 June 1995 regulating the closing of retail stores in commerce and crafts. The Ministry of the Economy will initiate a legislative amendment to put an end to the situation of non-compliance with the Constitution. In this sense, the formerly closed hours exemption for small retail stores, referred to as "small-scale retail businesses employing only one person assisted by family members", including the repeal by the law of 21 July 2012 posed a problem to the Constitutional Court, will be reintroduced."
On 19 January 2018, Luxembourg's Secretary of State for the Economy, Francine Closener, granted a derogation for 2018 which affects all catering trades (bakers, butchers, caterers, ice cream makers, waffle makers and pancake makers) across the Grand Duchy. From 22 January, they can now open their doors from 04:00 to 21:00 daily, except for 25 December.
In a second step and in accordance with the government programme, the Ministry of the Economy is undertaking a review of the entire regime of opening hours. In this respect, a study has been entrusted to LISER to study in a comprehensive manner the question of opening hours and its implications, including social implications, for the employees concerned. The study and its results will be discussed with the social partners (trade unions) and followed by discussions that will determine the way forward.