Posted on: Oct 03, 2016

If you’re a shop owner, new rules from Easter 2017 mean your council may let you open on Easter Sunday. However, you can’t make your employees work that day.

This law change addresses growing demand from the public and retailers to open for business on Easter Sunday. Currently, the law restricts most — but not all — businesses from opening on Good Friday and Easter Sunday, and until 1pm on Christmas Day and Anzac Day.  Changes to the Shop Trading Hours Act 1990 mean local authorities can let shops in their districts open on Easter Sunday.
For employers who plan to open on Easter Sunday, this means you must tell staff of their right to refuse to work on this day, eg by group email.This must be done:
  • between eight and four weeks before Easter Sunday, or
  • as soon as possible if new staff join your business less than four weeks before Easter Sunday.

For employees, the law change means they can:

  • refuse to work on Easter Sunday without giving a reason and without repercussions
  • raise a personal grievance against if they believe they’ve been:
    • made to work Easter Sunday, or
    • treated badly for refusing to work Easter Sunday

An employee who doesn’t intend to work Easter Sunday must tell their employer in writing within 14 days of receiving the right to refuse. This can be by letter or email.

For more information please see the website or click here


This article, and any information contained on our website is necessarily brief and general in nature, and should not be substituted for professional advice. You should always seek professional advice before taking any action in relation to the matters addressed.