Posted on: Feb 22, 2016

Easter Public Holidays

The actual days which are classified as public holidays under the Holidays Act 2003 during Easter this year are:

  • Good Friday – 25 March
  • Easter Monday – 28 March (not Sunday!)

Many people get Easter Sunday confused and think that this day is also a public holiday – this is not correct. It is a “restricted trading day” (see note below) but is not a public holiday in accordance with the Holidays Act 2003.

While the legislation limits the ability for shops to trade on Easter Sunday; it does not limit the ability to provide work for employees. Therefore, if your business normally operates on a Sunday and you do not require employees to work on Easter Sunday it is recommended you consider how the day will be managed and discuss your requirements with employees ahead of time.

Good Friday and Easter Monday are public holidays, with Good Friday also subject to restricted trading.  If your employees work on any part of these days they will be entitled to the time and a half payment for the time worked on the public holiday.  Also, as with any public holiday if the day falls on an “otherwise working day” for the employee and they work on the day, they will also be entitled to an alternative holiday.

Public Holidays during an Easter closedown

Some of you may be closing down over the Easter break. If so, in accordance with the Holidays Amendment Act 2010, your employees will be entitled to paid public holidays that fall during the Easter closedown period if they would otherwise be working days for them, as if the closedown was not in effect. Just as if a public holiday falls during a period of annual holidays, the employee is entitled to a paid public holiday if it is otherwise a working day for them.

Shop trading restrictions

There are 3 ½ days a year when almost all shops are required to be closed under the Shop Trading Hours Repeal Act 1990.  These days are:

  • Christmas Day
  • Good Friday
  • Easter Sunday; and
  • Anzac Day, until 1.00 pm

For more information on Easter and ANZAC Day trading restrictions see the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment 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.