Law change for Easter Sunday shop trading
The Shop Trading Hours Act 1990 was amended in 2016 to enable territorial authorities to decide whether retailers in their districts can open on Easter Sunday.
Key changes to the law
- Territorial authorities can now create local policies to allow shop trading across their entire district or in limited areas on Easter Sunday
- All shop employees have the ability to refuse to work on Easter Sunday without providing a reason to their employer.
Territorial authorities have the ability to allow shop trading
Under the new law, territorial authorities can introduce local polices for shop trading in their entire district or in limited areas on Easter Sunday.
Territorial authorities must consult their communities using the special consultative procedure on any local policy to allow shop trading on Easter Sunday.
Local policies cannot control or override shop trading provisions in other legislation, such as defining specific opening hours, liquor licensing provisions or determining what types of shops may open.
Shop employees’ right to refuse to work on Easter Sunday
Easter Sunday continues to be a day of significance across New Zealand and some people would rather not work on this day.
Because of this, all shop employees will be able to refuse to work on Easter Sunday without any repercussions for their employment relationship.
There are requirements associated with this right to refuse to work on Easter Sunday for both employers and employees. See employment.govt.nz website for information about this.
Where to go for more information
Further information for employers and employees is available on the employment.govt.nz website. The details of the local policies of individual councils will also be on the Employment New Zealand website as they are created.
The public should contact their territorial authority directly for more information about proposed local policies for Easter Sunday shop trading.
- Cabinet paper: Easter Sunday shop trading amendment [PDF 129KB]
- Regulatory Impact Statement: Easter Sunday Shop Trading [PDF 401KB]
- Read the Minister's release on the Beehive website
- Information about the current shop trading legislation is available on our Employment information website