Closing on Sunday: a solution to counter the labor shortage?

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Closing on Sundays: a solution to counter the labor shortage?

Economists doubt that closing shops on Sundays be a solution to the labor shortage.

Could the closure of businesses be generalized across the province to help merchants make up for the lack of labor ? Economists disagree on this. Many believe that this measure can act as a double-edged sword for companies that use it.

Quebec has not finished talking about a shortage of personnel. This will still be an issue for the next 10 years, at least, estimates the economist at Québec international, Émile Émond.

According to him, the closing of businesses on Sundays can be part of the solution.

Companies have no choice but to find ways to reinvent themselves to cope with the situation. Closing businesses on certain days can be a solution to give employees a break and reduce the demand for staff, he argues.

For the co-owner of the Carrefour des terroirs grocery store in Quebec, the closing of businesses on Sundays must be absolute if Quebec really wants to counter the staff shortage.

Competition is fierce in our field. If I close my business and others are open, it will not be our business. If it becomes a generalized habit, it would be good, admits Asma Najah.

In a survey of members of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), several entrepreneurs raised the concern of offering a better quality of life to employees by closing their businesses on Sundays, reports the director of provincial affairs at the CFIB, Francis Bérubé.

The Retail Council of Canada believes that this measure would represent a setback for Quebec merchants who obtained the right to open on Sundays in 1992.

This is not an economically viable response. It seems like a false good idea to us, says the president of the Quebec section of the Council, Michel Rochette.

According to him, the weekend is for many families the only time to do groceries. Taking a day off them would therefore be more restrictive and encourage them to turn to online commerce.

“We will take away from Quebec merchants the ability to remain competitive and we will send customers to online sales. »

— Michel Rochette, President of the Retail Council of Canada for Quebec

He also thinks of students and part-time employees for whom the weekend is sometimes the only possible time to make money. It wouldn't be a good idea to take that away from them, adds the president.

The Canadian Trade Council clarifies that it is not closing the door outright on the idea. If there is a debate that opens, we will be open-minded, but we are just afraid that at first glance people will imagine that [closed] on Sunday this be the solution to the shortage which is a […] bigger problem than an opening day.

According to Francis Bérubé of the CFIB, the proposal to close businesses on Sundays cannot be generalized to all businesses in all sectors, because each has very different realities.

For some companies, Sunday can be a very important day. In another sector, it may be the opposite. The important thing would be to consult entrepreneurs, he explains.

Traders must instead work on solutions adapted to their challenges, according to Francis Bérubé. Process automation can be an option, he suggests.

There are still experienced workers who want to stay in the job market, but are not encouraged fiscally to do so. Being more flexible in the way of receiving immigrants could also be one of the solutions, adds Michel Rochette.

With the collaboration of Marie Maude Pontbriand and Louis-Simon Lapointe

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