New Easter Trading Laws Impact on Employment Relationships

Article Published : 07.09.2016

On 29 August 2016 a new law regarding trading on Easter Sunday came into force.  

Under the new law, territorial authorities have been given the power to make a policy permitting shops to trade on Easter Sunday.  The policy can apply to the whole or part(s) of the territorial authority’s district.  

Where a territorial authority decides to permit trading on Easter Sunday in an area, it must allow all businesses in that area to trade. It cannot restrict trading to particular types of businesses or to specified operating hours.  

The new law also gives employees new rights.  Employees will be entitled to refuse to work on Easter Sunday and they will not have to provide a reason for doing so.  This will even be the case where the employee has specifically agreed to work on public holidays in their employment agreement.  Employers who want employees to work on Easter Sunday will have to give them notice in writing between four and eight weeks prior to Easter Sunday.  If an employee intends to refuse to work on that Easter Sunday they will be required to inform their employer in writing no later than 14 days after they receive the notification from their employer.  

Where businesses intend to trade on Easter Sunday, care will need to be taken to ensure that they meet the strict time limits for notification of their employees and that they can arrange adequate staffing.  

If you have any questions on how the new Easter trading laws impact on your business and employees, please contact Gareth Abdinor on (03) 379-0712 or at gareth.abdinor@malley.co.nz.

Article by Gareth Abdinor

Gareth is driven to build long-term relationships with his clients and to provide them with trusted guidance and practical solutions to their legal challenges. Gareth is an employment law specialist and advises employers and employees on all aspects of the employment process, including documenting the employment relationship, disciplinary processes, terminating employment, employee restraints, health & safety and restructuring.

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