Council adopted an Easter Trading Policy on Wednesday 15th March 2017. This means that Westland retailers can now choose to operate on Easter Sunday.
A proposal was put out to the public a month ago, with a recommendation from Council that local retailers should have the choice of whether to trade on Easter Sunday. Council stated that tourism-related trade and other trade is important to the Coast economy on Easter Sunday. The public appear to agree - only three submissions on the proposal were received and all were in support of allowing Easter Sunday trading.
The Easter weekend has traditionally been an opportunity for Westland retailers to serve the extra visitors to the area and for locals to spend extended time socialising with family and friends or ‘to get in the garden’. The law previously gave exemption to garden centres, take away bars, café’s, restaurants and duty free stores to trade on Easter Sunday. Over time enforcement of the law became murky in regard to other retailers.
Easter Sunday continues to be a day of significance across New Zealand and some people would rather not work on this day. Shop employees have a right to refuse to work so should approach their own employers directly if they would like to discuss their options. Under law no undue influence shall be applied to any worker in an attempt to induce that worker to agree to work on Easter Sunday. No action shall be taken to discriminate against or disadvantage any worker not wishing to work on Easter Sunday.
Of note for employers and employees:
- The process for employers giving notice of the intent to open on Sunday, and employees’ right of refusal, is covered at this website: www.employment.govt.nz/leave-and-holidays/public-holidays/
- Employers have to give between 4 and 8 weeks’ notice to employees i.e. by Sunday 19 March for Easter Sunday 17 April, and employees then have to respond within 14 days if they wish to refuse to work on Easter Sunday.
The Westland policy does not apply to Easter Good Friday, or to Anzac Day morning and Christmas Day.
Dated at Hokitika this 15th day of March 2017.