Exemptions from the prohibitions of the Law on Sundays and Holidays

The Law on Sundays and Holidays in the Free State of Saxony (SächsSFG) determines public holidays, days of remembrance and mourning, and religious holidays. It also regulates which actions and events are prohibited during these days. Under certain conditions, the regulatory authority may grant exemptions from certain prohibitions upon request.

For a number of activities, the law provides for exceptions.

Public holidays in Saxony:

  • New Year's Day (January 1)
  • Good Friday
  • Easter Monday
  • Labor Day (May 1)
  • Ascension Day
  • Whit Monday
  • Corpus Christi (only in the regions determined by the Saxon State Ministry of the Interior by legal ordinance)
  • German Unity Day (October 3)
  • Reformation Day (October 31)
  • Day of Prayer and Repentance
  • Christmas Day (December 25)
  • 2nd Christmas Day (December 26)

Days of remembrance and mourning

In Saxony, these are Volkstrauertag (penultimate Sunday before the 1st Advent) and Totensonntag (last Sunday before the 1st Advent).

Religious holidays in Saxony:

  • Feast of the Epiphany (Jan. 6)
  • Spring Penance Day (7th Wednesday before Easter)
  • Maundy Thursday
  • Corpus Christi (if not a public holiday)
  • St. John's Day (June 24)
  • St. Peter and St. Paul (June 29)
  • Assumption Day (August 15)
  • All Saints' Day (November 1)
  • Immaculate Conception (December 8)

Sundays and public holidays are specially protected by law as days of rest from work and spiritual upliftment. Therefore, publicly noticeable work and other actions that are likely to interfere with the rest of the day are prohibited on Sundays and public holidays, unless otherwise provided by law or on the basis of a law. Statutory exemption regulations can be found in particular in the Trade, Commerce and Industry Regulation Act, the Shop Closing Hours Act and the Working Hours Act.

Note: Exemption from this prohibition may be granted in individual cases if there is good cause.

This prohibition does not apply to

  • the operation of postal services, railroads and other enterprises serving the transport of passengers, as well as auxiliary transport facilities, with the proviso that repair work on motor vehicles may only be carried out insofar as it is necessary for the continuation of the journey
  • work which cannot be postponed and which is necessary
    • to prevent damage to health or property
    • to satisfy domestic needs
    • in agricultural operations, in particular for harvesting
    • to process perishable foodstuffs and to supply the population with milk
  • light work of a non-commercial nature in gardens, which does not cause disturbing noise
  • the operation of video stores on Sundays between 12:00 and 20:00 hours
  • the operation of car washes:
    • fully automatic car washes of a covered type operated jointly with service stations, on Sundays 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
    • self-service car washes with high-pressure cleaners, Sundays 12:00 to 20:00h
    • car wash facilities and self-wash facilities with high-pressure cleaners in commercial areas, Sundays 12:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

On Sundays, public holidays (exceptions: May 1 and October 3) and religious holidays, actions that are likely to disturb religious events must be refrained from in the vicinity of churches and other buildings that serve religious purposes. The same applies on December 24 for the time after 2:00 pm.

Note: No exemption from this prohibition may be granted.

Furthermore, on Good Friday, the Day of Prayer and Repentance, and the Days of Remembrance and Mourning, public dancing and other public entertainment contrary to the serious character of these days, as well as public sports events, shall be prohibited at the times specified by law.

Note: Exemption from this prohibition may be granted in individual cases if there is an important reason.

Single Point of Contact

For this procedure, you can use the service of the Single Point of Contact (Einheitlicher Ansprechpartner). They will guide you through the administrative procedure, take care of correspondence with all the offices responsible for your request and will be available to you as a competent advisor.

Onlineantrag und Formulare

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Zuständige Stelle

Ordnungsbehörde der Stadtverwaltung oder des Landratsamtes

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Warum soll ich einen Ort angeben?
Mit Hilfe der Ortsangabe können wir die für Sie passenden Informationen, Formulare, Dienste und Ihre zuständige Stelle anzeigen.
Welchen Ort soll ich angeben?
Zum Beispiel Ihren Wohnort, wenn Sie einen Reisepass beantragen wollen oder den Unternehmensstandort, wenn Sie ein Gewerbe anmelden möchten.

Service details

Prerequisite

The prerequisite for granting an exemption is the existence of an important reason. According to the intention of the law, exemptions can only be applied in atypical cases.

Procedure

Apply for the exemption at the competent authority. Application forms are also available on the Internet, depending on what the authority offers.

The religious communities concerned must be heard before an exemption is granted. This does not apply if the exemption relates to May 1 or October 3.

Deadlines

None

Important! However, you should make the request early.

Costs

A fee of EUR 35.00 to EUR 400.00 will be charged for granting an exemption. In addition, you may incur costs for out-of-pocket expenses.

Release note

Sächsisches Staatsministerium des Innern. 20.05.2019