Proposed regulation regarding hours and days of admission to commercial establishments - Supermarket employees will receive time off to spend holidays with families

    QUEBEC CITY, Oct. 9 /CNW Telbec/ - Raymond Bachand, Minister of Economic
Development, Innovation and Export Trade and Minister of Tourism, announced at
noon today the advance publication of a proposed regulation on the hours and
days of admission to commercial establishments. Joining Minister Bachand to
make the announcement were Michel Arsenault, QFL president; Louis Bolduc,
Executive Assistant to the Canadian Director of the UFCS and QFL Vice
President; Florent Gravel, President and CEO of the Quebec Food Retailers
Association; Denis Brisebois, Vice President, Operations and Affiliates, for
Métro-Richelieu; Daniel Tremblay, Senior Vice President, Corporate Social
Responsibility, Loblaw; and Pierre Sévigny, Senior Vice President, Sobeys.
    The proposal, which comes on the heels of agreement between large and
small retailers, convenience stores, food retailer associations, and food
industry unions, will now be subject to a 45-day public consultation period.
    The proposed regulation recommends that large supermarkets (with sales
areas over 375 square meters) be closed on January 1, Easter Sunday, June 24,
the first Monday in September, December 25, and until 1:00 p.m. on
December 26. Smaller grocery stores (with sales areas of 375 square meters or
less) may continue normal operations without restricting the number of
employees during these periods, to respond to consumer needs. As regards
pharmacies, the current plan-in which a maximum of four employees may work on
these dates-will be maintained.
    To better serve the public, this proposal also recommends that all
grocery stores and pharmacies be open on January 2 and July 1, with no
restriction on employee numbers.
    Allowing smaller grocery stores to remain open with no further
restrictions on employee numbers will ensure consumer access to quality
service on holidays, even if large supermarkets are closed.
    "In addition to maintaining competition among large supermarkets and
offering smaller grocery stores new opportunities to do business on specific
holidays, this proposed regulation fosters a more equitable balance in
work-family life by allowing a number of workers to benefit from additional
time off. Thus employees of large supermarkets will be able to be with their
families at Christmas," said Minister Bachand.
    -%RE: 1

For further information:

For further information: Anne-Sophie Desmeules, Press Officer, Office of
the Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade, and
Minister of Tourism, (418) 691-5650

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