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Councils Control Easter Sunday Trading

Published 03 Sep 2016

New Easter Sunday trading legislation has been passed allowing local Councils to decide whether retailers are allowed to stay open on Easter Sunday.

Previously, trading on Easter Sunday was illegal for most businesses expect in tourist towns such as Queenstown and Taupo.   The central Government has handed the decision making to local communities, who, through their respective Councils, will decide whether they wish to allow businesses to trade on Easter Sunday.  Trading bylaws can apply to the entire district or parts of the district, but cannot restrict the type of businesses that are allowed to trade or the times businesses are allowed to be open.

Employees are however able to refuse to work on Easter Sunday.  The new legislation prohibits employers from requiring their employees to be available and accept work on that day.

The Shop Trading Hours Amendment Act is now in force and Councils are expected to have bylaws passed in time for Easter next year.  Employers should keep an eye on their local news as Councils consider their individual Easter trading policy.