Easter Trading?

From 1 April 2018 local businesses will be able to trade (if they choose) on Easter Sunday.

We believe the entire Kāpiti region will benefit economically from the decision to allow Easter Sunday Trading.  By giving local businesses the choice of opening, the Kāpiti Coast District Council is supporting our strong local economy.

It’s a new policy for Kāpiti – so it’s vital all employers take the time to get familiar with their legal obligations to ensure you operate within the law, and that all employees are made aware of their rights and obligations.

The Kāpiti Chamber of Commerce has been working with Julia Palmer from Star People to provide you with some easy to understand advice and resources, to answer any questions you might have about Easter Sunday Trading.

Please share this advice with your employees.  5 February is an important date because it marks the beginning of the period in which you need to advise your employees if you wish to trade on Easter Sunday.  Please take the time to read carefully the information below.

The Chamber and Star People are always available to answer any questions you or your staff might have about Easter Sunday Trading.

Julene Hope

Deputy Chair and Chair of the Advocacy Committee

Julia Palmer, Star People HR & Recruitment – employment expert

In December 2017 Kapiti Coast District Council became one of the territorial authorities allowing trading on Easter Sunday. If your business is going to trade on Easter Sunday and you have staff, here’s what you need to know.

ALL shop employees have the right to refuse to work on Easter Sunday and they don’t have to give their employer a reason for refusing.

Employers must notify their employees in writing that they have a right to refuse to work on Easter Sunday.

Notification to employees can be delivered in one or more of the following ways :

  • A letter or memo delivered in person
  • A personal email group email
  • Any other way which could be specified in the employment agreement.
  • Notifcation must be made at least four weeks before the relevant Easter Sunday, and no earlier than eight weeks before the Easter Sunday.
  • This notice must be given every year the business wishes to trade on Easter Sunday.
  • For a template employers can use to notify employees, go to http://www.starpeople.nz/Resource.php  and download the Employers Form under Easter Trading.

If an employer doesn’t follow the notice requirements and requires an employee to work on Easter Sunday, this is considered to be compelling them to work and the employee could bring a personal grievance.

Shop employees who are given notice of their right to refuse to work on Easter Sunday and wish to refuse to work, must give notice of this to their employer.

If an employee is going to refuse work on Easter Sunday they must:

  • Let the employer know in writing no later than 14 days from the date they received their employer’s notice.
  • Deliver the notice to the employer. This could be in the form of a letter or memo delivered in person, or by email or in a way which could be specified in the employment agreement.
  • For a template employees can use to notify an employer, go to http://www.starpeople.nz/Resource.php and download the Employees Form under Easter Trading.

Employers can’t compel their shop employees to work on Easter Sunday or treat them adversely for refusing to work. Any provision in an employment agreement which requires a shop employee to work on Easter Sunday is unenforceable.

Legally, there are no days in lieu or penal rates payable for working on Easter Sunday, although employers may want to consider an incentive to encourage their employees to work on that day.

If you want more information about Trading on Easter Sunday, please contact your local employment experts at www.starpeople.nz